Grace Nakahara: 

Nakahara’s senior art exhibit, is most people’s greatest fears come to life. An accidental fall that caused Nakahara to lose her front tooth turned out to be an inspiration for her final project. Her series of five paintings and one ceramic installation are all about her own nightmares.

Her center piece and start of the collection is called “The Dream where I pull out my own teeth.” It is a gory, imperfect face that is trying to cover it’s self up with white paint to make it pretty. What makes the piece whole is that you can pull the teeth out of it, just like in Nakahara’s own dreams.

After Nakahara created her center piece, the nightmare went away, so she set on seeking the same therapy with her other nightmare-inspired art works, and it succeeded.

“Most of them have gone away since creating those pieces, so that is something that I want to continue to explore and do more creepy instillations,” Nakahara said.

Courtney Shih:

Shih is inspired by the people and artists around her and that is what fueled her senior art exhibit. With deciding to go with her gut and scrapping her original idea for her collection with only two weeks before the show, Shih was on a time crunch but knew that it was the right choice.

“I realized that I need to follow what makes me happy and what I am inspired by,” Shih said.

Shih’s area of expertise is in figure drawing and figurative pieces. All of her pieces have to do with the figure. 

Shih’s drawing and printmaking professor Mary Farrell played a huge role in shaping who she is as a person and an artist. Shih attributes Farrell to being the one who showed Shih how much she actually loves drawing and painting.

Through this process, Shih has learned that if she is going to do something she has to be passionate about it and something that she wants to do for herself.

 Anna Sherwood:

The topics of biology, animal skulls, monsters and video games design married into one are all aspects that inspired Anna Sherwood in the creation of her senior art exhibit.

What started off as an intention to just create three skulls turned into a much bigger installation and a family of skulls each time Sherwood arranged her pieces.

This was her first time with creating her own monsters. Sherwood at first did not think that she was creative. She learned the balance of creating and reconstructing through her final project.

“There is always something new to work with. I never thought of myself as a creative person, even as an artist,” Sherwood said.

This has pushed Sherwood’s creativity and now she feels more comfortable coming up with her own things and pushing the boundaries. Instead of just studying skulls she now makes them.

Melina Palomba:

With Palomba’s interdisciplinary arts minor that combines theater, dance and visual arts, she was inspired by the dance classes that she has taken at GU. For her senior art exhibit, she wanted to portray the side to dance that people do not see as much, the physical versus mental side.

Pieces came and went, then Palomba set on her pedestal piece, which was her physical dance piece with ballet shoes on top and then her figure drawing.

Her mirror pieces on the pedestal acted as two things, as the mirror that dancers rehearse in front of and then reflect the person that was looking at the piece.

“I wanted it to  make them almost feel like the dancer in that what they were reading on it was applied to them,” Palomba said.

The words inscribed all over the pedestal were real critiques that dancers from Gonzaga had received. She wanted to show the mental side and struggle of dance and then juxtapose that with the figure pieces that are the more beautiful and graceful side of dance.

Katie Lasko:

From someone who is used to realistic work and renderings of the human form, Katie Lasko explored a whole new creative field with her one liner. Her piece grew into something bigger than she imagined. Lasko trusted herself and those around her to leave the art forms she was comfortable with and try something completely new.

“It is a very, very simple thing when you water it down, but it is also as complex as you want to make it. It took on a form all by it’s self,” Lasko said.

The idea originated from a doodle in the margins of a piece of paper. It started off really small, then ended up with Lasko building her own room with the one continuous line.

“I almost feel like there is a gap missing where it went from something super small to something really large scale, there was no really in between ground. My mind was going a million miles an hour so it felt like the right step,” Lasko said.

Celeste Hatfield: 

Taking the famed red solo cup as the muse for her senior art exhibit, Celeste Hatfield brought to life a sophisticated side to the cup. Hatfield’s final product of red solo cups had her playing with a different, altered and somewhat crushed form of the cup. 

“I think that in today’s society, we often try to hide the broken parts of ourselves, and this aspect of the piece to me is a representation that brokeness can be beautiful as well,” Hatfield said. 

She created the red cup, but with intricate gold detailing and in a way that made the cups feel light weight and delicate. At first look the ceramic cup looks as if it would be heavy, but when one picks it up they feel the fragile cup, as if it was an actual plastic solo cup but is created from ceramics. 

Hatfield used slipcasting to bring her cups to life. She is inspired by the broadness of what she has the ability to create in the field of ceramics.

Brianna Vasquez is an arts & entertainment editor.

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