Last Wednesday, UR’s 15 Studio Arts seniors gave a virtual talk discussing their past and present artworks and senior theses. As a sophomore studio art major, it was inspiring to see how the artists’ works have evolved over the course of their studies, and they encouraged me to think more about the direction of my future creations.
In no particular order, I present the Class of 2021 Studio Art Seniors!
Sydney Dlhopolsky (@sydacea): One of her projects was a quilt made of found materials, which inspired her future works. The front of the quilt, and some of her other textile-based works, is just as important as the back. She explores what it means to function as a human being and as an inanimate object. As an example, she showed us an almond milk container that she tore apart and sewed back together.
Alexis Robinson (@a.robinsta): She uses mindfulness, regular mediation, regular art creation, and tarot cards to explore her past, present, and future self. Among others, she focuses on blackbirds because they symbolize gratitude, good fortune, and intelligence. She wants to explore her life through a lens of gratitude and is always focused on becoming more present and aware, rather than on the production of her art.
Cortney Pang: Growing up in Hawaii inspired her to create artworks based on Hawaiian stories. She discusses the stories of the Menehune (tiny people who can do either mischievous or good things for others) and the ancestor moths, which are a part of her current project. She has plans for a future project to uncover her privileges, some that she may not currently be aware of.
Harry Ma: Spending time in New York City during the Art NY semester gave him the opportunity to explore street photography. One of his projects shot in NYC was split into two sections: Before Midnight and After Midnight, with the photographs in each section edited in two distinct styles.
Stephanie Aviles: Her focus this year is on recovering forgotten memories that have been stored away in old photo albums. She says this will help heal her mind by putting herself back in the simpler times of her childhood, and she’s been experimenting with different techniques to do so. In her current project, she draws herself as a ghost and creates new scenes with reference photos. In the future, she wants to use one long roll of paper to create a continuous scene.
Yilin Luo: This year, she’s focusing on an illustration series about rabbits, and has spent this semester drawing their different forms. Next semester, she plans to create her story with a large Flemish rabbit helping a smaller rabbit.
Suyi (Zoey) Liu: Her senior thesis explores her Chinese identity and ancient Chinese artwork. She described one of her recent photos as “personalizing” an ancient Chinese work of art by creating a makeup look and outfit based on an old print.
Abigail Liebhart: She began what she calls her “journey of self discovery” in college and has used her art as a way to better understand herself. Her favorite subject is the human body and has created an array of unique self portrait sculptures.
Joshua Jenkins: Similar to Alexis, he has created his own tarot cards and has used their designs to inspire his works. He took us through his design process for a magician tarot card.
Yibo (Bob) Hu: As an international student from Wuhan, China, he has built his senior thesis around the COVID-19 pandemic and his experience as a student from Wuhan. He has worked in a variety of mediums, with each work representing a different aspect of the pandemic, including mask wearing, racist comments, and the rush to create a vaccine.
Faraz Ghorbanpour: His senior thesis is focused on the idea of “the endless chase” of money and wealth to achieve happiness, even for just a moment. He recalls his parents arguing about money and the fact that people often use clothing to express their wealth.
Haomin Hu: A Studio Art and Data Science student, his focus is on portrait, landscape, and architecture photography.
Hannah Holquist (@hmholquist): Her other major in Biology has influenced her thesis, which is exploring the connections between biological systems and human behavior. As an example of this, she showed us two gouache paintings incorporating eyes and windows.
Jingyi Guo: She has majors in Studio Art and Mathematics and usually works in 2D. This year, she is working on an illustrated book focused on four different categories: anxiety, beauty in life, daily life, and memory. She is considering making a second book focusing purely on emotions.
Liza Pressman: Due to a lack of space and materials, she has combined her paintings with digital elements to create collages representing her friends. She described her current “recipe” as choosing a friend, finding a photo that reminded her of that friend, and using words they sent to describe themselves. Together, the photo, words, and painting create a finished piece of artwork.
Any hyperlinked name leads to the artist’s website, and you can keep up with all their work on the @urstudioartseniors Instagram account.
Thank you to the artists for presenting their works and ideas, and thank you to the professors for putting it together!