MISC., the annual senior art show highlighting the final thesis projects of graduating studio art majors, is on display from May 2 to May 18 at the Scripps College Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery. An opening reception was held May 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Bixby Courtyard. The exhibition is free and open to the public. An annual exhibition of final thesis projects created by graduating studio art majors, this exhibition is the culmination of the studio art major at Scripps.
MISC. features paintings, photography and mixed media works exploring such varied themes as race and gender identity, urban landscapes and abstraction. The exhibition is a juried show displaying the achievements of a diverse group of artists who worked throughout their senior year in anticipation of the event. In addition to creating the works displayed, the students conceptualized the show, installed their pieces, wrote artist statements and managed the publicity for the exhibition.
This year’s featured seniors are: Nic Chan, Audrey Howell, Chloe Dobbert, Will Yandell, Allison Riegle, Annie Aqua, Dominique J. Smith, Meridith Burchiel and Alex Trimm.
Nic Chan: XING
Chan, who is from Hong Kong, uses digital images and paintings for her art piece, which examines how modern-day activists in China appropriate the language and propaganda of the Cultural Revolution to address contemporary societal concerns. “My thesis work explores the intersections of sex, gender, and revolution in contemporary Chinese art,” says Chan, who majored in studio art and minored in Chinese.
Audrey Howell: Enormity Series
A native of Seattle, Howell explores themes of abstract monstrosity in her large-scale acrylic paintings. “I have a deep love for science fiction and fantasy and for the beauty of organic systems,” says Howell, a studio art major who is also minoring in classical civilizations. “I am fascinated with creating organic forms that are unusual and grotesque.” Her paintings “hint at large aliens or mythical creatures,” and also refer to the potential mutation and decay of the body, she says.
Chloe Dobbert: Two-Faced
Dobbert, a dual major of psychology at Claremont McKenna College and studio art at Scripps, describes her series of black-and-white photographs as being a “behind-the-camera autobiography.” Her still images play with lighting and angles. The photographs refer to the fact that people are not often “walking in my shoes and seeing what I see,” says Dobbert, who is from the San Francisco Bay area. “What I see is not the way the world sees my images. It’s a play on how I perceive my life and the world around me.”
Will Yandell: The Tricycle Gang
Yandell, a dual economics major at Claremont McKenna College and studio art major at Scripps, created a sculptural installation to explore themes of male power structures. Using plaster bandages molded into the images of men, Yandell dressed the structures in jeans, sneakers and sweatshirts. The structures appear to stand in the middle of a playground with tricycles nearby. The tricycles represent boys bonding with one another to create neighborhood gangs that assert their dominance at a playground. “The Tricycle Gang explores the power structures that develop among boys and that continue into adolescence and adulthood,” says Yandell, who is from Ross, Calif.
Allison Riegle: Rieglematica
Over the winter break, Riegle lived with a family in Texas that restores defunct chemical photo booths, and she served as their apprentice as part of her senior thesis. In that time, Riegle restored her own photo booth, which has since made its way to California and will serve as the centerpiece of her art installation. Riegle, an art major, has taken a series of self-portraits within the booth and those images will also be displayed. Her art piece examines “voyeurism, the male gaze and female occupation of space,” says Riegle, who is from Washington, D.C. Riegle views her work as a hybrid of performance art and self-portrait photography, which underscore her experience growing up in the public eye.
Annie Aqua: Untitled
A studio art major and anthropology minor, Aqua’s thesis is inspired by the experience of driving through the Los Angeles freeways. Her project consists of animations made from digitally-altered photos of freeways, which deconstruct and de-familiarize the iconic structures. “I wanted my own intervention to disorient the viewer,” says Aqua, who is from Denver, Colo. “They’re beautiful structures; seemingly everlasting elements of the urban landscape, and I want to explore possibilities of deconstructing them.”
Dominique J. Smith: Body Politics
Through a series of photos, Smith probes the history of images of black bodies in the United States, beginning with stills that reference slavery to photos that call attention to contemporary prisons. “Using photography as its base, this project artistically explores the relationship between African-Americans and the United States’ economy in the past and the present, and the way in which black bodies continue to be used as a means for monetary gain within our society,” says Smith, who is from River Forest, Ill. ”I hope to a shed light on how much still needs to be done in terms of race relations in our country,” says Smith, a dual major in art and media studies.
Alex Trimm: Shatter
Trimm has created a hanging installation of a dress made of tempered glass. “I am exploring the constructs of beauty and the expectations placed on women to fit a particular standard of beauty,” says Trimm, who is from San Diego. “This piece highlights the danger of pursuing unattainable beauty standards.” A studio art major with an art history minor, Trimm plans to install steps leading up to the hanging tempered glass dress to allow the viewer to experience the piece firsthand. “Glass is beautiful, dangerous and alluring,” she says. “When you see broken glass you’re urged to touch it, even though you know you shouldn’t.”
Meridith Burchiel: Still
For her project, Burchiel, who is from Portland, Ore., reviewed video clips of children as they tell imaginative stories. She found these children through her close network of family and friends. She froze various frames – keeping her subjects still with their animated expressions. She then sketched those images on paper using ink or colored pencils. She often found herself struck by poignant moments, while listening to each child’s personal narrative. “I cannot tell you how much fun this project has been. The children are radiating with emotion frame by frame,” says Burchiel, a studio art major. “I’ve had really good laughs.”
The Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery is located at Eleventh Street and Columbia Avenue, adjacent to Baxter Hall. During the exhibition, the Gallery is free of charge and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, please contact the Gallery at (909) 607-3397 .