By Jane Suttmeier
The seniors of Ohio Wesleyan’s department of fine arts showed their marks at the opening of their capstone show this past Saturday at Ross Art Museum.
The theme of the exhibit, “Marks Made,” conceptualized by senior Danielle Muzina and chosen by the senior class, encompasses pieces of art done by 19 fine arts majors. The senior students voted on “Marks Made” and four other concepts before proceeding with ideas for the show. According to senior Brandon Sega, they met in a committee, and the selection was a “group decision.”
The “Marks Made” description explains that the show is a manifestation of the seniors’ tenure at OWU.
“We understand our own personal marks and how the marks we make as artists and as people have a significant impact on our perception of the world,” it said. Senior Molly Curry said the theme reflects the small steps that creating a larger work involves.
“To me, ‘Marks Made’ means all of the small brushstrokes, pencil marks, and effort that goes into creating a final piece you are happy with.”
Senior Catherine Spence said there were some commonalities in “Marks Made,” but that every piece and artist is an example of themselves in some way.
“Everyone’s style is so unique,” she said. “I admire each artist in different ways.”
Sega said his individual “marks” are seen across his entire body of work.
“‘Marks Made’ means the marks that I create on any medium that I touch,” he said. “They are one of a kind.”
Senior Chelsea Dipman said it relates a lot to the legacy the seniors will leave in the fine arts department and the campus as a whole.
“‘Marks Made’ means not only the marks that we have made to articulate ourselves artistically, but also on ourselves, and on the lives of people that surround us,” she said.
Spence said it was hard to define what marks she made.
“I don’t feel I can give my work a permanent label, adjective or definition,” she said. “People are constantly changing, and so do your surroundings; my mood changes over time, and so do my interests.”
The seniors drew inspiration from new and old memories, as well as their favorite things to create their artwork.
One of Curry’s favorite things that inspired her work was natural lighting. Curry presented several portraits in the show, all incorporating styles that reflect natural lighting.
“I love how shapes immediately form when a natural light source is present that you don’t normally see,” she said.
Dipman said she drew inspiration from people.
“I’m fascinated with the human body, body image,” she said. “The process of getting a painting to resemble not only that person’s likeness, but their essence as a person.”
As for Spence’s inspiration, she said she finds it from the differences between the human figure and the human body. Spence’s work focuses on “the expressions that the body alone can create.”
Dipman said she thinks her artistic abilities were evolving before she came to OWU, but her years in school have helped her grow as an artist. Most of the work she has in the show came to be during this semester.
“I’d like to think that my work has progressed as the semesters have flown by at OWU,” Dipman said. “And I think the works I got accepted in the senior show are testament to that.”
And while the artists’ talents were the primary focus of the show, they took time to discuss their futures as well.
Sega said he hopes to go into digital art, even though most of his pieces featured in the show were not computer-generated.
“I plan on working in the field of graphic design, but I will most likely do some personal work on the side,” he said.
Dipman, Curry and Spence all plan to work in art education following graduation.
“(My) passion is working with children and developing their artistic abilities,” Curry said. “I want to help students feel successful and confident by encouraging them, the same way my professors at OWU challenged and encouraged me.”
Spence said the reason she finds art education is so important is because of the therapy art provides to children.
“I hope I can help kids form the same appreciation for art as I had, and continue to have,” Spence said.