Annual Senior Thesis Art Exhibition includes Greek iconography and prints of food - The Gonzaga Bulletin: Arts & Entertainment

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Annual Senior Thesis Art Exhibition includes Greek iconography and prints of food

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Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014 6:00 am

Seniors who are art majors or minors submit their work for the Senior Thesis Art Exhibition at Jundt Art Museum before they graduate.  

This is an exciting opportunity for the seniors involved, as they get to see their artwork in a gallery setting. The majority of the featured art is ceramics, drawings and screen prints, produced by featured artists David Ernst, Michelle Stocking and Rachel Palmer.  

These seniors have spent the majority of the past year to creating their own thesis collections, and are overwhelmingly proud of their work.

Ernst began his journey at GU as an art major and never strayed from his passion.  Ernst spent most of his four years focused on ceramics and printmaking, and the majority of his thesis is the latter.

“The inspiration comes from my love of movies and design,” said Ernst. “The prints are movie-style prints. In other words, as you look at my thesis, you can see that some prints come directly from movies while others are my own conception.”

Ernst’s favorite piece from his collection is of Icarus, an icon in Greek mythology.  The print, called “Icarus Falls,” was inspired by the story of Icarus.

“He flies too close to the sun, against his father’s wisdom, and falls to Earth,” Ernst said.

Ernst took the image of Icarus falling and added a space helmet as a reference to the movie “Gravity.”

“I like the idea of taking a well-known image and adding a new, personal twist,” Ernst said.

After graduation, Ernst is seeking a job in a creative field, such as design or advertising, but ultimately does not know where he will end up.  

Stocking intends to find a job in human resources after graduation, but also does not want to give up her artistic freedom. In the long term, she aspires to open a yarn shop with a printmaking studio in the back.

Stocking’s entire collection is made up of screen-prints.

“They just came so naturally to me that I never had to worry about having to fight with my equipment to get it to do what I needed it to do,” Stocking said.

Stocking has two collections displayed in the thesis exhibit.  The first, titled “Coffee and Carbs,” was completed in the fall and depicts different foods.  Stocking wanted to represent things she loves and enjoys, but also wanted to use her own creative power.

Picking a favorite print was hard for Stocking, but one print she favors is of pasta.

“[The] one from that series featuring pasta from Olive Garden really shows off how much I absolutely love attention to detail and packing that detail into small spaces,” Stocking said.

Her other collection is titled “Walking Spokane” and was inspired by the quote by Frances Mayes: “A writer told me, ‘Beware of the exotic; it is so easily available.’ ”

Through this quote, Stocking set out to find the exotic in the city of Spokane, and change the stereotypes she associated with the city.

“By not allowing myself to edit the information in a field study beyond fixing placement, proportions or perspective, I had to spend a lot of time walking through the city and finding the best things that seemed to represent it on that particular day,” Stocking said.

Palmer minored in art as well. Her focus was primarily printmaking. She used mostly mixed media prints for her collection titled “Scars Series.” 

The exhibit is on display in the Jundt Gallery until May 10.

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