ArtCNU 2020 seniors finally got the chance to showcase their talent in the Ferguson Hall for the 2020 Senior Thesis Exhibition.
~Taylor Vigil, Photography Editor~
Along with the many other events that were cancelled due to COVID-19 last semester, ArtCNU graduating seniors unfortunately had to postpone showcasing their senior thesis projects. Thankfully, after months of waiting, our ArtCNU 2020 seniors at last have the opportunity to show off their hard work. Artists Patricia Gomuka,Thomas Matthews, Jaron Overton, Colleen Real, Cecil Reyes, Whitney Truitt, and Karen Whisler have taken over the Ferguson Hall this semester with their senior thesis projects. There is no question as to how talented and passionate these artists are about their craft.
Transitions: Artist Pat Gomuka explores the transition from life and death in Transitions, a series of watercolor and paper collages. Inspired by Guyot Marchant’s Danse Macabre, Gomuka provides viewers a chance to contemplate the transition from life and death, and how we look at death as a culture. The bleak aspect of death as portrayed in Gomuka’s art is uniquely paired with brighter colors in the watercolor still lifes, adding depth to the pieces and creating a space in which audiences can contemplate that transition from life to death.
Me, Him, & I: Photographer Thomas Matthews explores the impact of clothing and characters from movies and television on self expression in his series Me, Him, & I. Laid out in a series of self portraits, Matthews utilizes cosplay as a medium to illustrate the characters who influenced him the most. “Each character that I cosplay has some form of significance to me,” Matthews wrote in his project description, “whether that has to do with important things that have happened to me or just normal things that have happened in my life.”
Asylum Ad Astra: Photo manipulator Jaron Overton utilizes the power of imagination in his photo series Asylum Ad Astra to combat reality and create an escape into another world . The bright colors of this piece, coupled with the video format of the series, truly draws the viewer into the journey into outer space.
Unmask the Posed: Photographer Colleen Real challenges the definition of beauty in her series Unmask the Posed. “This portrait series is meant to question the viewer about their personal definitions of beauty” Real writes in her series description. Real coupled portraits of models starkly contrasting the beauty that is pushed by society and the media with the natural beauty of each model. Black and white photography, natural posing and appearance, and eye contact is depicted as natural beauty, while strategic posing, bright colors, and a lack of eye contact is illustrated as society’s perception of beauty.
Rainbow Con Project: Artist Cecil Reyes chose to address the lack of representation of BIPOC (Black, Indigineous, People of Color) and LGBT+ individuals through the Rainbow Con Project. “Living in a society where I do not see myself frequently represented in media,” Reyes writes, “I am inspired to create work that represents both myself and people like me.” Using marketing materials as an artistic medium, Reyes created Rainbow Con as a way to promote “education, advocacy, and entertainment specifically focused on LGBT+ BIPOC.”
Wisdom of Xingfú: Inspired by East Asian culture, artist Whitney Truitt created a beautiful children’s book, Wisdom of Xingfú aimed at bringing joy to children while illustrating the beauty of Chinese culture and traditions. Choosing to use chalk pastel and charcoal to illustrate her book, Truitt created a truly beautiful masterpiece in children’s literature.
The Father Heart of God: Artist Karen Whisler’s religious roots inspired her exploration of the theme “What does it look like to know God as Father?” through a series of oil paintings depicting children from Hampton Roads and their fathers. “My aim is to address the desperate need in our culture for the love, acceptance, and identity that only a father can give his child,” Whisler writes in her series description. The highly realistic style of Whisler’s painting, coupled with the soft yet bright colors, truly capture the warm, loving relation between father and child.
The showcase of the senior’s work truly represents the hard work and skill developed throughout their years at CNU. The exhibit was open through Nov. 18.