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Lander Seniors to be Honored at Year’s Last Art Show

Lander University senior arts students, (L-R): Molly Ott, Elizabeth Johnston, Sydney Conley, Kayla Frost, Luke Howell, Preston Dunning, Sam Robertson, Latasha Lemons, Olivia Bolt, Bri-Marie Ealy. Not pictured: Kristen Bennett, Liza Dwyer, Elizabeth Earles, Mundrell Hall, Ramey Locke, Rashaad Pippins.

Art lovers of all kinds are expected to show up April 20 for the reception of Lander University's annual senior arts exhibition.

The reception is open to the public from 5-7 p.m. at the Monsanto Art Gallery, and the 70-plus-piece exhibition, entitled "Mindful Moments," will run through May 6 and serve as a grand send-off for all 16 graduating arts students.

"It's our last arts show of the 2016-17 year and is a signature event for our seniors," said Jon Holloway, director of the Monsanto Gallery. "It represents their four years of being art students and showcases their latest work."

Pieces include sculpture, ceramics, drawing, woodcarving, pen and ink, painting on both canvas and paper, and photography.

Several seniors, such as Molly Ott, Olivia Bolt, Rashaad Pippins, and Preston Dunning were winners at February's juried exhibit - but senior Latasha Lemons said that even though the senior exhibit doesn't have a judge and prizes, it is just as exceptional.

"Looking back on my freshman year I went to many shows where seniors displayed their own work," said Lemons, a visual arts major. "Now it's real - and I am that senior displaying my own work of art."

Making it into the show, however, requires each senior to present a body of work with an artist statement to a jury panel.

"This allows students to be objective about their own work and select their best," said Professor Sandra Singletary, instructor in ceramics, two-dimensional design, advanced drawing, and the senior capstone class. "This process makes the annual senior exhibit one of our most interesting with a broad range of work."

For example, four sample pieces in the show include:

  • Beets By Rhea - oil on panel, by Kristen Bennett;
  • Inferno - photography, by Elizabeth Earles;
  • Web - ceramics, by Ramey Locke; and
  • Mapping Memory - painting on paper, by Olivia Bolt.

"Most of our seniors have participated before in juried shows, but the senior show is just to celebrate them as artists - it's our way of saying 'good job,'" Holloway said.

Singletary added, "This is an exceptional group of students. They are serious about their work and push themselves, and I would love to teach all of them another year - and at the same time I am excited for them about their futures."

Senior Molly Ott plans to eventually pursue a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture, but for now, she is just going to enjoy her last arts show as a Lander student.

"It is very special to be in a show with people you care about," said Ott, a visual arts and Spanish major who had two sculptures, one photograph, and an oil painting self-portrait in the senior exhibit. "We all began with a background of making similar art, and as we have been introduced to different mediums over these past four years, it has been so interesting to see where people find they are best able to express themselves."