Graduating fine art students showcase an array of artworks at MIXTAPE exhibit

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: JEN DOEDE
The graduating fine art students are hosting an exhibit to showcase their array of artworks and individuality

Graduating fine art students are celebrating their journey through the three year program with a final exhibit at the ARTS Project gallery. The students chose a mixtape theme to showcase the wide array of diverse art styles and mediums each student specializes in.

The MIXTAPE exhibit will take place from April 4 to 14, with the opening reception happening on April 7 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Various awards will be distributed throughout the evening and there will be food and a cash bar at the reception.

At the opening reception, Cora Cluett, a fine art professor at the University of Waterloo, will be giving the graduation remarks. According to the University of Waterloo's website, Cluett has previously been awarded the Governor General's Academic Gold Medal award for her thesis work, as well as had her paintings showcased at national and international venues.

Joselyn Gardner, a professor in the fine art department at Fanshawe, explained that each artist's individuality is what makes the exhibit flourish. “There are never two [graduation exhibits] that even seem remotely alike because everybody is different. That is one of the strengths of our program. The students immerge as individuals with their own perspectives, styles and way of working,” Gardner said.

Thirteen students will be showcasing their artwork at the MIXTAPE exhibit. Three graduating fine art students spoke to the Interrobang about their art that will be on display at the exhibit.

Dana Mero, who earlier recieved the Trish Janik award, creates Styrofoam sculptures of individuals from the Victorian era, that wear interchangeable masks-like heads of animals that are found in Canada. “I have some environmental education and I started to tie that into my sculptures,” Mero said. She explained that one of her pieces that will be on display at the exhibit features a barn owl. The owl sculpture will be sitting on a map, displaying the areas where barn owls still live in Canada. “It brings attention to the problem of species extinction and other environmental issues, which are important to me personally,” Mero said.

Shannon Williston explained that she creates large-scale installations on Masonite. “I roll ink onto the Masonite [using a brayer] and I either hang them up as a grid formation or I cut them out into geometric/organic forms and connect them with hinges and they sprawl across the wall,” Williston said. She explained that her inspiration is more process based and everyone has a different interpretation upon viewing her pieces.

Hanna Storms incorporates her sketchbook drawings into largescale silkscreen prints. These drawings consist of surreal-looking indoor and outdoor spaces and figures performing mundane actions within the space. She explained that her inspiration is drawn from locations she finds nostalgic. “They end up becoming these mashed-together landscapes that are kind of strange to look at,” Storms said. She explained that all of her illustrations can be connected to each other to create an even larger landscape.

Marla Botterill, a professor in the fine art department at Fanshawe, shared some advice for the graduating class. She stated that it is important for students to stay involved in the art community no matter where their future studies and jobs take them.

For more information regarding the MIXTAPE exhibit, visit the ARTS Project website.