An Artistic Transformation

April 23, 2012








Senior studio art majors
The graduating studio art majors pose during the opening night reception of Menagerie. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Art and Art History )


The senior student art exhibition is the show studio art majors wait for their entire Rollins careers. Titled Menagerie, this three-week installation at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum features the works of eleven graduating students and is the culmination of more than a year’s worth of artistic effort and exploration.

“The Senior Seminar course is unique because students spend more than a year creating a body of work around one cohesive idea,” explained Assistant Professor of Art Joshua Almond. “In terms of conception, preparation, and execution, it is an intensive and challenging experience and similar to what an artist goes through in the professional field.”

“Given the nature of the senior seminar, I have developed a deep connection with my classmates throughout our artistic transformation,” Senny Luu ’12 said. She and friend and classmate Anne Patrick ’12 feel they were able to come into their own with the strength and support of peers and advisers.

“Because Menagerie is a juried show, our artwork went through multiple critiques and we received a lot of feedback from our peers and professors,” Patrick said. “As a result, we learned how not only to take criticism but how and when to follow our hearts during the artistic process. By looking inward and drawing on personal experiences, we are able to make our art something bigger than itself.”

Luu’s exposition, titled “Faces,” consists of 36 distinctive drawn portraits that were inspired by a recent semester abroad in Hong Kong. Being of Chinese cultural descent, Luu grappled with balancing her Asian and American identities while there. Upon her return, Luu began interviewing and sketching her friends and relatives who were experiencing similar multicultural situations. She found the practice enriching and rewarding. “The process of creating my art helped me gain confidence and accept who I am.”

Patrick’s work, “To Glide on Its Own Melting,” uses video to compare the nature and evolution of language to melting ice. Her inspiration came from topics of discussion in several of her philosophy classes. Commenting on undertaking such an abstract concept, Patrick said, “I had to find a balance between professionalism and not taking myself too seriously. I found I enjoy art a lot more when I do it for the simple joy of creating, discovering, and taking part in an artistic conversation.”

The art presented in the exhibition demonstrates the technical prowess and ingenuity of the senior seminar students and spans a broad spectrum of styles. Mediums employed include painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, mixed media, and digital art.

Menagerie is on view at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum through May 13.

By Justin Braun

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