A Collaborative Virtual Exhibition

As artists we make work for audiences, the public. As the COVID 19 pandemic hit, we artists who usually work in specialized studio spaces typically with other artists, were isolated in our homes.  The creativity of artists can’t be stopped so our private spaces our kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms and yards became the place we made work that we now share with you, our public.

In this online exhibition we have teamed up with our colleagues at institutions on several continents all having shared similar struggles and challenges.  The work presented here represents a creative response to difficult situations, adaptations using digital tools and online formats and what we have on hand.  The exhibition reveals the unique experiences of students in shared virtual spaces.
-Keaton Wynn

Curated by: Shasha Wang and Keaton Wynn

Faculty: Song Mingming, Shasha Wang, Keaton Wynn, Laurel Robinson, Justin Hodges, Dr. Ernest Zenko, Keith Ekstam, and Angela Hung

-Xian University of Technology
-Huaqing College of Xian University of Architecture and Technology
-Georgia Southwestern State University
-Faculty of Design (Associated member of University of Primorska, Slovenia
-Missouri State University
-Lewis and Clark Community College

Translation: Ian Wynn

Virtual Hosts:
-Center for Chinese Bie-modern Studies, Georgia Southwestern State University
-Department of Art and Design, Missouri State University

Jinghan Liu
Black and white

The work contrasts with black and white as the main color. White mixed with black, so that the overall color more uniform, more visual intensity. This work highlights the hand, with a part of the human body to express a change in the heart of black and white, showing the idea of black and white in today’s society. Overall expression tends to be visual in the sense.

Yanxing Liu
Green-first memory

When high-rise buildings, bustling streets instead of pine trees, concrete instead of the wings of birds, whether we can stay out of the business, continue to follow the rules of life. The decline in air quality has almost wiped out the vibrant green glow of memory. The works want to express that we human beings want to continue to survive and develop, we must be kind to nature. Remember, it’s often easier to lose than to get!

Xinyang Shi
White Hope

Shuting Ning

Use the dried flowers of the products affected by the epidemic to create. The chrysanthemum itself has the connotation of mourning the deceased, mourning for the compatriots who lost their lives during this epidemic, and personifying the chrysanthemum at the same time. When talking in different environments, the glass jar forms two spaces inside and outside, that is, the cross-space of life and death, and the isolation of the patient from the outside space.

Shuting Ning

Mingming Song, Faculty
Tong, 2020
Electric wires, windows

The works is constructed by freely inserting colored wires between the panes of old windows. These old windows bear the mark of an era. The connection of electric wires brings the era of oil lamps in windows into the era of electric lights and telecommunications. The transmission of information is projected from the pane like sunlight to make life convenient, but it seems that the warmth between people is increasingly missing. With the change of the times, the windows are much more bigger, and the information is getting more accessible, but the warmth between people is farther ,  there is less communication. The work attempts to bring people back into the memories of the warmth era, reflects the progress of the era of China’s reform and opening up, and expresses that the new era still requires people to communicate with each other and convey warmth.

Jie Hui

“Human is the product of desire, life is the continuation of desire” desire is like a stream, the desire in the heart is like the bull of the red cloak, white is the breeding source of desire, below extends the development of desire, cage is the constraint of France and Germany, material and flesh are unreliable slaves, with the constraint of desire to stop, people can continue to progress.

LeLe Zhu

Although people are independent individuals, they also have their implicit connections with each other, which constitute our complex social relations today and make the society a huge whole. The same is true of trees, which seem to be disconnected from one another, but are integrated into a forest because of their connection. I also want to reflect the complex and changing social relationships of our human world.

LeLe Zhu

Xuefei Li
The world behind the door

The work was painted on the door panel with acrylic paint, the work is fabricated on a door in the memory, it exists in the author’s yellow and distant memory, from which the author has this creative association. This is a door. It’s like every philosophy that the world is talking about. We never know what is behind any door, either stepping into hope or stepping into the abyss. But if we don’t step into it and push it, the door will be shrouded in mist forever, just like Schrodinger’s cat. Creators to behind the door painted all the way along with the growth of cartoon characters, is hope we grow in non-stop, never stop, but there is always one door, behind carrying us eternal life unforgettable memories, warm may be not only expressed author’s so simple, but also with a glimpse, although does not see the whole picture, will also be able to see the vast blue in the sky. Hope to see the people, to regain their original heart.

Jiayi Lin
Light and shadow

The work is a model of landscape display. Today, electronic products are very important to everyone, which makes the time out of the outdoors less and less, and the feeling of nature weaker. When we set the shadow of different states at different times in the natural environment, people can feel the change of time by participating in and interacting with it, and the shadow of people and the shadow of setting are heavy at different times When we meet, we can feel the connection between time and light, the different experience brought by nature, and the charm of light and shadow.

JieXin Mei
The phoenix nirvana

Hubei was under the jurisdiction of Chu during the Warring States period. In Chu, the Phoenix is a symbol of freedom and the cradle of eternal life. It is said that every time the Phoenix dies, it burns itself up and is reborn in the fire. It is called “Phoenix Nirvana” . Through Phoenix, the work shows people’s courage, perseverance and love of life, hope and vitality during the epidemic of COVID-19, while praising all the Chinese people for their contributions.

Shanshan Wang

The work is a word of desire composed of figures climbing on a wire, forming a distorted “Earth”. Showing that people will experience many complicated temptations in their life, it may be good or bad, but it will make people grow up . This existence of red spherical lamp gives the work a certain artistic conception. And you will find that there have fallen upon the ground a number of men who have not withstood the test of desire, and will only end up in deep mire. The work highlights the interests and desires of this era, if you want to get what you want, you have to stay true to your roots and forge ahead.

To face the difficulties and obstacles on the road of future development with one’s original heart, firmly grasp the REINS of desire, and keep climbing and exploring, will surely shine brilliantly.  

Menghan Wang
Jacob’s Ladder

The Ladder blends in with nature and stands in the blue sky and green space. Ladder is a symbolic existence, representing the inner strength and courage, from small to strong. Learn to be strong in stumbling, looking for direction in confusion, after falling to stand up again, to climb the ladder in his heart bravely.

Yingying Wang
Ornamental culture

The inspiration of this work comes from ornamental fish. For their own comfort and enjoyment, people put fish into fish tanks and replace the perspectives of human and ornamental fish, so as to see the world from the perspective of ornamental fish. Maybe we are always placed in an inescapable medium similar to an aquarium.

Haifeng Nie
Shadow in the Wilderness

This work is composed of the photos of the ancestral house sprinkled on the wilderness randomly yet regularly, which are full of memories. The work attempts to arouse people’s infinite memories while the old town is transformed. Urban transformation is a turning point in history, a sign of the end of one era and the beginning of another. Though the photos are  scattered over the wilderness, the memories have always been in people’s deep hearts.

Haifeng Nie
Shadow in the Wilderness

Yiqun Cai
The custom of revival

In view of the special land form and characteristic customs and culture of my hometown, I decided to use the nine-curved Yellow River array, which is used by local residents to pray for blessings on the Lantern Festival, as an expressive element. First, through the Yellow River array of nine songs to reflect the simple work of the people and their expectations for a better life. The second is to criticize and resist the decline and disappearance of local customs and culture due to the unification of towns.

Guoyan Chen
Question loneliness

This design implies the process of achieving ones dream. Each floor, from low to high, represents the cognitive stage we are in. The number of people in the box represents how many people can understand us. The red lines represent the knowledge, experience, and wisdom we have. The more we know, the lonelier we are. My design wants to tell people that when a person wants to achieve his/her dream, he/she will encounter many people’s doubts, puzzles and denials, just imagine what Elon Musk has experienced, but please never give up! Just prove it by turning your dreams into reality through your efforts and then let everyone test!

Yuxuan Gao
keep young 3

Life is full of difficulties, adults are always on the verge of collapse, but we still adhere to their original heart, even if the life is shattered still maintain their own share of innocence, love for life. In the hard days to find happiness, looking for the young and original themselves.

Yuxuan Gao
keep young 3

Yixian Yan
Temperature of gloves

During the epidemic, many medical workers contributed to the fight against the epidemic. They are the loveliest, the most respectable. This work shows the distinctive characteristics of medical staff “medical gloves”, which intuitively reminds us of the contributions made by medical staff to us. The gloves were filled with water and frozen into shape. The outside is a medical glove, but it is cold to the touch. Another implication is that health care workers are working on the outbreak this winter. May we remember and be grateful.

Aoying (Ann) Feng
Used books, transparent tape, markers

The leaves cut from the old books replace the leaves on the trees that should have existed but dropped due to environmental reasons. The color of paper leaves is in contrast with green leaves, which means that the natural environment has been damaged. This work reminds us that we should protect trees, environment and nature, and calls on us to always have the awareness of environmental protection, and remember that human beings should consciously protect the environment and protect nature, bring a better and healthy living environment for themselves, and contribute to the creation of a healthy social environment.

Aoying (Ann) Feng
Water Resources – Protection?
Black plastic bag, wire, card, marker

The society has always advocated to cherish water resources, protect water resources, prevent and control water pollution, and protect the ecological environment. Although many people in many places also have the consciousness of protecting and not polluting water resources, some people just say no. In addition, there are some places where the propaganda and prevention of water pollution are not in place and the sewage treatment is not appropriate; some people also lack the awareness of cherishing and protecting water resources. As a result, some rivers are polluted by waste water, and the fish in those rivers are also “killed” by waste water and sewage, leaving only bones.

The black plastic bag indicates the polluted river; the fish bone twisted by wire represents the dead fish; the written card indicates that people have the awareness of protecting water resources, but the card is thrown or dropped into the polluted river, indicating that some people just say nothing or lack the awareness of protecting water resources.

Siyuan Liu
Material Science
Needle tube and clay, copper wire

Two trees are made of needle tube, clay and copper wire, and the trunk part of the tree is made of needle tube. The needle is under the tree, and the crown part is made of copper wire, implying that the earth’s nutrition is constantly absorbed. The ground and the trunk eventually wither. The second tree changes the needle position, makes the crown of the tree with clay and copper wire, and leaves are made of green clay, showing life vitality, implying only fitness We can live together only when we ask for more.

Jiale Yao
Wool, cloth sewing mask

This work is a reflection on people’s home life during the epidemic. The ropes are a barrier to our lives, and the little bit of sunlight from the distant door is a symbol of people’s desire to go outside in this period. And the staircases reflected how difficult it was for us to get out. The masks hanging on the rope in front of the door is a necessary condition to go out, a sign of passage. But it is also a constraint on our life. And this phenomenon of wearing masks is also a deep reflection and a stern warning to mankind. through this epidemic, each of us should pay more attention to how we deal with the relationship between human and nature in the future.

Jiale Yao
Boring Ⅱ

This work is an extension of “Boredom” and a reflection on our home life during the epidemic. I believe that in this period of time, people can not do without all kinds of electronic products, which is also a must for the life of most young people. It is because of this that we inevitably have to stare with the eyes all the time, causing some harm to the body. Many people will even stare at it for a long time without letting their eyes relax. In this case, we ignore the presence of the window, which allows us to look out and can give our eyes a short respite. On the window yarn, asing if is the “window” sealed off of our hearts, pieces of reads “➖” (minus), more can reflect.

Yixin Cui
At ease
Protection suit, coat hanger

Time is quiet, the epidemic has stopped, protective clothing shelved, ok? The sun has spilled on the land, angels have completed their tasks, their “wings” are also enjoying the sunshine. Is the so-called to leave winter, snow melt grass green, I believe there must be a new encounter will continue the warmth. Let’s hope the outbreak ends soon, the protective suits are up, and that they too are enjoying a leisurely afternoon in the sun, and that everyone is safe and everything is back to normal. To all the emissaries in white, and to all the heroes who protect life. World peace, peaceful country and peaceful people!

Cui Yifang
Can’t you see me?

This piece is made from mirrors, simulated flowers, glass paper and PVC boards. The simple sense that makes broken with cellophane on mirror face, the triangle that surrounds mirror some was affixed cellophane, some is pure white. Flowers are a symbol of beauty, so I decorate the mirror with imitated flowers that never fade. Even in a group, there will always be people who feel lonely, who think that the people around them do not understand them, and feel negatively that they can do nothing well and are not confident. When you see this mirror, I hope you can look beyond the surface and see inside. Each of you is a unique treasure in this world.

Cui Yifang
Upside-down city
Plastic ball, cellophane PVC board

Inside the plastic case is crumpled cellophane. The building inside the largest sphere is made of PVC boards, which are harder and less prone to damage. During the epidemic, cities were temporarily deprived of their original good life, and people were like being covered in a transparent shell, unable to communicate outside their homes. But in spite of this, life is full of hope, like the city in a sphere, and the sphere below sustains the strength of the city. A lot of small bulbs wrapped around the outside, like stars, can be lit up at night.

Li Yan 

Make a button-up of a button to protect the tree from damage. As human beings develop their economy at the expense of the environment, they bring irreparable harm to nature. But buttons tied to trees represent an open relationship, which also illustrates the harmonious coexistence of man and nature.

Jiang Tian
Mahjong tiles

No matter when, mahjong connects people. Even at any point in time, as long as people touch it, they will reconnect the broken connection.

Ruofan Jiao
The Lifeline

Just as its title “Lifeline”, this work symbolizes people’s yearning for life, respect for life and saving life during the epidemic. During the outbreak of hospital is a public space with the doctor, the volatility of the lifeline, that is, the heart beats line, smooth in the back-end ups and downs, a symbol of the life of the recovery, scattered on the bed and bed frames of medical appliance is a symbol of a doctor for life saving, and patients with scattered pictures of the bed is full of sunshine confident smile, a symbol of the people for hope, the pictures on the wall is to save the lives of medical personnel. Finally, under the unremitting efforts of the doctor, under the patient’s firm belief, the two complement each other, and finally completed the life of the rescue and sublimation, also corresponds to the lifeline to beat again, this is the charm of life, this is the lifeline.

Ruofan Jiao
The Net

This work is called “The Net”, in this net, the people in the cage desperately want to get out, and to do so at any cost, just like the patients in the epidemic, full of hope. And off the grid, it’s the people who guide these people out, the doctors in the epidemic. People in the net want to get out of trouble even if they are struggling with broken hands and feet, which represents the patients’ longing for life, and also makes us who are healthy understand the precarity of life and the hope of life.

Jiayi Wang
Self-feeding series

Both of these works are created with ready-made products. They show the two environments of “ocean” and “forest” on a small dining table. The meaning is: if we don’t pay attention to the protection of ocean and forest ecology, continue to produce excessive marine garbage, arbitrarily discharge sewage, and deforestation, then the ecological resources will be affected as well as our own, so to go down is to dig your own grave. What we have done has changed it into a top-down order. Then we can certainly change it into a bottom-up order. To protect the environment is to protect ourselves.

Shasha Wang, Faculty
Wrap & Isolate, 2020

Artist Shasha Wang begun to use band-aid for creation since 2016. Wrap & Isolate is a work of the artist using ready-made objects. She directly wrapped band-aid on the spikes of the isolation net and went out to create under the epidemic. Under the global epidemic, the author’s thinking and artistic practice combined with strong humanistic care. The work reflects on the psychological trauma caused by fear and isolation under the epidemic. Through a band-aid isolation net that symbolizes caring, it appeals to people all over the world to be able to release care and care for each other in the context of isolation. As a sculptor, she did not use clay wood stone or other traditional materials. She even changed the creative mode on the shelf. Shasha Wang walked out of the studio and went outdoors to create, combining Western conceptual art earth art, and oriental philosophy, talking about human propositions. It is a direct and novel artistic practice.

Shasha Wang, Faculty
Healing, 2020
Band-Aid, Natural Rock, Huabiao

During the epidemic, the author travels to the mountains, fields and emperor tombs 200 kilometers around Xi’an every day. She attached the band-aid to the cracks of natural stones and to the emperor’s mausoleum, trying to make people aware of the existence of pain, not only human beings but also nature and society. A band-aid wrapped around a person’s skin is a wound that can stop a person’s pain and bleeding. But placing it in front of the wound on the earth was so insignificant that a small band-aid could not heal its huge wound, as weak as the same scar. It is reminding human beings why they should not treat it like a wound on themselves, trying to release their love for people, society and nature.

Caroline Fong
Tracing the Light

In the work, little bear and big Bear greet the new day in the first beam of sunlight in the morning and are imprisoned on the Windows of the community. Though they are behind bars, they still have hope in the world and light in their eyes. Like us at the beginning of 2020, the ability to feel happy is going to zero. Instead of laughing with popcorn at the movies, we have to speed up at home with our cell phones. We can’t take off the mask to chat and gossip in public. We can only endure the hot skin under the mask. We couldn’t dance on the floor where it used to be so loud. We had to swing our arms at home to the TV. When the negative news constantly fills our lives, we will find that the impact of the epidemic on some people is far more profound than imagined. But fortunately, there are always stories of people struggling through the winter, suffering and struggling through it. As dying to Survive says, “May the world get better, not because of the Savior, but because of the Seeker.” There are too many light seekers in this world that we don’t see.

They also represent the animals in the zoo, although protected, but every day people shut up to feed, watch, lost the original wild, lost freedom, not from the bottom of my heart happy, but still alive, waiting for the moment to see the sun. I hope that one day, with the continuous development of human society, we can reach a balanced relationship with animals and the world.

YuYao Xie
What are we doing during quarantine

The work has at least three components: first, the white lines drawn around the apartment. Second, this apartment. Third, the QQ group. What I want to talk about is that in space filled with epidemic like this, where people self-quarantine at home, the public space will no longer be a place where we can enter at any time. This gives birth to another completely new space, one that is both private and public: cyberspace. During the epidemic, we have been using the Internet to communicate with the outside world. It became the most effective and convenient communication tool. At this moment, it will be even more inseparable from mankind.

Yuetong Zhao       
Building privacy

Reinforced concrete bricks are the foundation of public buildings, helmets and overalls, and personal belongings of workers. Workers use heavy building materials to build a sitting building in the open space, so we have our own private home.

Chen Ming

In this picture, we can see masks, a sieve, toilet paper, balloons and a green plant, which symbolize something and someone respectively. The sieve, for example, a symbol of the outbreak of virus that bring the pain and suffering, those white toilet paper represents a difficult road to resist disease, colorful balloons represent in this outbreak, grasped the nettle of brave resistance or the people, but that piece of green plant, represents the people indomitable, after hardship will eventually achieve the safety of in situ. Fight against the epidemic, everyone is working hard, I believe we will win the war without smoke!

Jiayan Lei
A Change

What it wants to express is a development process of recording and spreading events from ancient times to modern times. From the earliest rope record to the emergence of cloth and paper to the development of the Internet. Today, when there is a network, especially during the epidemic, people need to record and spread information more frequently. The occurrence and recording of some major events spread on the Internet at the first time. The materials I choose are green paperboard, gauze and data line, which are fixed with pen. It is used to show the development process of information recording and transmission in human society. I named it A change.

Jiayan Lei, Han Zhang, and Nicole
Huaqing College, Xian University of Architecture and Technology and Georgia Southwestern State University

Link is a work done by our China-US team. The materials used are ropes and doors. The effect is presented by shooting. The rope wants to express the invisible ties between us. Although we come from different countries and regions, we are all part of the community of shared destiny of mankind. We connect with each other, help each other, learn from each other and finish this work together!

Yiying Han
Wood chip needle for globe

There has been a serious illness on our earth in this winter. So late in the spring of 2020, COVID-19 has us all wearing masks, leaving us to wait for spring at home. This photo is rented by a globe and some needles. I put the needle next to the globe and some needles on the top of the globe to express the meaning of saving the earth.

Wei Gao
Identity behind
Mask, lollipop, cigarette, lipstick

Although we wear masks this time, the style behind is still floating. Although we all wear masks, we can still see everyone’s identity behind us. For example, lollipops are children’s favorite food… Although everyone has different characteristics, many items still symbolize the new very clear division of the old and the young.

Allison Sanchez
For Your Neighbor 1&2 

I was really focused on highlighting some of the positive aspects of this pandemic, mainly the ways communities and people are coming together even in the smallest of ways to help each other out. As much as there are stories and articles of devastating things going on, humanity has managed in some ways to be supportive of one another, so I’ve used text from articles reminding us of that.

Thoughts on Working in Isolation:
Working in isolation was definitely a challenge. More than just being away from the studio, my peers, and professors to bounce ideas around and learn from, being at home came with its own set of difficulties. I struggled with being motivated to do anything productive but I also dealt with an odd family dynamic and stressful environment. Taking time out of my day to do things alone and enjoy little things like a good book or a game or takeout from my favorite restaurant helped and just made me feel more normal.

Jim Klein
JimboSlim Book

The themes that this work discusses includes my inspiration and what made me want to create in the first place, lifestyle changes not only during COVID but throughout my life, my identity, how I have dealt and continue to deal with my anxiety, the sad realities of the capitalist structure, war, conflict and the misuse of governmental power at the expense of the people. Throughout quarantine, not being able to leave the house has been a challenge for me as I usually thrive on being out and about. A harder challenge for me is the reality of having to watch all of the carnage of COVID 19 unfold, watching the government sit idly by making the state systems fend for themselves in the pandemic, struggling to keep the public safe. While it looks grim right now, instead of panicking I have decided to be making as much art as I can. Creating art is a way to cope for me and it is useful for documentation during the pandemic as well. I am staying in touch with my friends through gaming so socialization has not changed too much for me. These are challenging times but as artists we must make use of the time we have received. 

Justin Hodges

My work explores the ever-broadening definition of photography. These works take many forms. As a result, I look at my process of making as twofold. The first aspect, which drives the second, is the conceptual motivation behind the work. For me, this deals with the way technology is reshaping our world and also the way it is reshaping us. Secondly, my work is technical in nature. Because technology is ever evolving, the process of integrating it requires both time to learn and implement in meaningful ways. At a foundational level, my work asks questions about the ways we use tools to measure, assess, and understand truth.

Teaching during Covid 19 has been both tremendously exciting and wrought with challenges.  Art, as a practice, is always linked to problem solving, and it’s in this spirit that I tried to shift in-person studio courses online.  The Art Department here at GSW is unique in that all of the faculty members get along so well.  Sharing strategies to communicate with and teach our students online was certainly a highlight that I often looked forward to.  Each of us made use of video conferencing software like, Zoom, which gave us the opportunity to reach our students on a familiar platform.  For me, it was both a difficult and uniquely sincere way to communicate with students during a difficult time.

Shanice Clark
I Wish 1… & I Wish 2…

My pieces are representations of what life became due to Covid19. In the first piece, it depicts what it looks like outside of my door, where I would sit everyday to complete my work. The car that you see is a brand new 2020 Dodge Challenger, which I received as a graduation gift. However, because of quarantine, there was nowhere for me to go. Therefore, it sat there in front of the door everyday that adds to the solemnness of being stuck inside of the house. The second piece, I shot at a local gas station from the viewpoint of inside my car. During this time, this is the only view of a store I could see. There was no going in as before. Therefore, I saw this as a perfect expression of isolation theme.

Thoughts on Working in Quarantine
Making work in quarantine was a blessing and a curse for me. The blessing is that there were no distractions while I completed all of my class work. However, because of limitations on face-to-face contact, some work was more challenging than others. In addition, I became irritable from being stuck inside the house day in and day out. Therefore, when I edited these two photos, I wanted to make sure that my feelings were depicted through the colors and composition.

Shon Martin

Though making art during the quarantine has been challenging, this isolated time has brought many new ideas to the surface. Therefore, during this unfortunate time I used my knowledge of photography and software manipulations to create digital images of what many people and myself are experiencing in the world today.

In my digital image “Empty” I was inspired to create this piece based on my experience as an essential worker during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. While working in a grocery store, I have personally seen customers grab every toiletry on the shelves leaving the shelves completely empty. Experiencing this as an essential worker motivated me to create this piece and share with the world how scary and surreal this moment was.

Amber Moore
Object of profound meaning

When I was in 6th grade, we had someone steal many of my Father’s tools that he kept under the carport and locked away in a wooden side box attached to the back of the house. The thief was never caught, and this prompted my Father’s sudden need and desire to build a workshop to house the remaining tools as well as the ones he would need to replace. For two months after school and every weekend, all our free time went to helping build this shop. In the years to come, it was where I was first taught how to use basic tools and would assist my Father in various projects he was working on. When my Grandmother’s health started to decline and she needed to move into a health care facility, it was suddenly no longer a workshop and was more of a storage building for all of my Grandmother’s belongings.

It went unused for years until her recent passing. Just a few weeks later, we found out the news that I would have to suddenly move home, and I would need space to work on three studio courses. We immediately began to go through everything that we could and gradually moved everything more towards the right side of the shop that way the left side could be my improvised studio space. This shop is now where I spend most of my days and I have grown to deeper appreciate all the facilities that the Art Department provides. So for this project, I chose to make small version of my Father’s workshop since it is currently the inanimate object that holds the most meaning to me in my environment.

Amber Moore

Preparatory Drawings for a Site Specific Installation Proposal, “Hunger”

Cyrus Johnson

Art is not the only thing that can be pleasing to the eye. Anything can be pleasing to the eye whether it is art as a whole, the material, form or color of a subject. Different things look nice to different people. It all comes down to achieving the aesthetic experience. Anything can be aesthetically pleasing for someone and help them achieve their aesthetic experience. We are all naturally admired by things we see, whether we are taken in by form, shape, color, or pattern. We can be aesthetically pleased through all of our human senses, but the most dominant is our vision. Anything can be seen as art. 

Cyrus Johnson
Patience is Key

This work is influenced by Jenny Holzer and her famous projections. For this project I decided to project a video or text on the front of my house. The projection or video displays the text “PATIENCE IS KEY.” It can mean anything to anybody but I wanted to relate to the current situation that the world is in. As you stated in a class, people within this coronavirus pandemic are being impatient and in a hurry to get back into the public. The number of cases and deaths are only going to go up from here. Patience is really key to everything. Good things come to those who wait. Holzer projections would be in public areas. I tried to make it public by projecting it on the front of my house. My house is on a major highway where people driving by should be able to see it. In one of the videos I tried to get a video of people driving by. The text would flash all three words from the phrase and I would then show as a whole. Holzer would try to pull people in with altering her text and making it have movement or become active.

Emily Burke
Creative Project: Paul Pfeiffer

In Paul Pfeiffer’s work, he often manipulates videos and images with digital technology. I took a similar approach, using Photoshop to manipulate my images. I used images of people eating, but removed the actual thing they were eating or utensil. This leaves the figure with a seemingly distorted expression and a mouth full of food. My work deals with similar ideas as Pfeiffer in that we both comment on the materialistic world we are in. Pfeiffer however, focuses on the spectacle and mass audiences while I am more focused on how these things affect the individual and their relationships. My aim here was to remove the social etiquette that we use while we eat, in turn showing the figures as thoughtless. We become absorbed in these things, we often don’t think about the people around us.

Hannah Finley

The title of this piece is “Isolation”, and was created out of my experience during quarantine. The material used in this was a framed mirror, and I placed it in the foliage of the forest surrounding my house, positioned so that it would reflect my house.

On the inside, nature is viewed through the windows of our homes, as we weather the pandemic indoors. Meanwhile, mother nature stretches her arms at the decrease in human traffic. Being indoors, it’s as though we exist in a stagnant point in time, while outdoors the earth keeps evolving around us.

Hannah Finley

This a picture I took of the tall burn pile in the back yard finally being burned down. I tried to edit it in a way that would make it look more painterly. I chose to use this particular image because it the subject matter was natural, but as it burned and the smoke rose through the branches and leaves, I felt as though it took a more mystical, unnatural appearance, which I had hoped would aid in helping it look more like a painting, as other Pictorialisms photos had done by having their subjects dressed up and staged. (Such as the use of putting wings on figures before taking their photo.)

Hannah Finley
COVID 19 Political Cartoon

Houston Scott

I was testing some long exposures at night. I think the time would have been somewhere from 10-20 seconds.  Due to time length the figure has blurred and out of focus and an attempt at the early photographic style Pictorialism.

Houston Scott

This was from a twin reflex camera from the 1950s I found in the Plains antique store that shoots medium format film, but I used 35mm instead, which exposes the whole film over the brackets. Since it’s an old camera it really helps with the effect of being a formal study.

Houston Scott

This is a projection from a slide projector where I placed a thin piece of foam instead of a slide. The effect it creates when you place objects in it is interesting with some very abstract and unexpected shapes and effects, almost like a microscope.

Houston Scott
Dog Day Afternoon

Keaton Wynn, Faculty
Wheel Thrown and altered porcelain Cone 1 4’ x 4’

In this piece I explore the unforeseen ramifications hidden in Walter Benjamin’s “Art in the Age of its Technical Reproducibility”. On the potter’s wheel I have produced porcelain “ghosts” of contemporary manufactured containers. In every culture, containers hold meaning. What do our containers say about our culture and its values?

Keaton Wynn
Weights and Bamboo Bundle
Stoneware wheel thrown weight press molded ceramic bamboo

What holds us down holds us together.

Kiri Parker
Baroque Photo

The image I decided to recreate is Artemisia Gentileschi’s, Judith Slaying Holofernes. I fell in love with this image as soon as you showed it to us. What makes it Baroque are a few key signifiers: The use of tenebrism – which is the dramatic lighting, the dark – almost black – background and high detailed and lightened figures, and the graphic and violence of the scene itself.

Kiri Parker
Response to Diana Thater

I decided to take a page out of Diana Thater’s book and make some projections that immerse you into the environment of the image displayed on my walls and ceiling of nature and how we interact with it. Since I didn’t have wild animals or know how to manipulate videos, I decided to take photographs of my plants outside. There are images of both healthy and dying plants, and an image where I am basically “choking the life” out of one of my dying petunias.

I had a lot of fun making these. I also had to juggle holding my projector in the right angle and direction while I captured the pictures with my other hand.  I added both the photograph and the projection photograph of each plant.  (The balance of the public and private during the time of pandemic)

Makenzie Hall
I am not Flat

This is my work influenced by Glenn Ligon. I used his stencil/text imagery, and put my own spin on it. I decided to make the text fit inside a frame of the silhouette of one of my hoodie figures. The text inside the image says, “I AM NOT FLAT”. Flat, which represents how stereotypes can make African Americans 2 dimensional and flat. Towards the bottom of the image, it gets very blurred and illegible like Ligon’s work, and similar to his “I Am An Invisible Man” piece, I decided to put not at the bottom, showing the demand for the understanding of stereotypes and the demand for them not to be used anymore. The reason I chose red was just to show an emphasis and attract the viewers’ attention.

Makenzie Hall
I Can’t Breathe

Nicole Marchant
COVID 19 Graphic Narrative

Allison Sanchez
“A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” Installation

During the spring semester of 2020 I assigned a group project for all ceramics students.  Together we read A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by AlexanderSolzhenitsyn.  After discussions about life in the Soviet Gulags students worked together to develop an installation that would engage the ideas and issues presented in the book.  Unfortunately following mid-term the pandemic hit and they were not able to complete their work in clay but only through developmental drawings.  Though they were not able to complete the installation I am grateful we had engaged this particular text.  These are some of the drawings they produced in the development of their collaborative installation. 
-Keaton Wynn

Amber Moore
“A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” Installation

During the spring semester of 2020 I assigned a group project for all ceramics students.  Together we read A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by AlexanderSolzhenitsyn.  After discussions about life in the Soviet Gulags students worked together to develop an installation that would engage the ideas and issues presented in the book.  Unfortunately following mid-term the pandemic hit and they were not able to complete their work in clay but only through developmental drawings.  Though they were not able to complete the installation I am grateful we had engaged this particular text.  These are some of the drawings they produced in the development of their collaborative installation. 
-Keaton Wynn

Ezra Yant
“A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” Installation

During the spring semester of 2020 I assigned a group project for all ceramics students.  Together we read A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by AlexanderSolzhenitsyn.  After discussions about life in the Soviet Gulags students worked together to develop an installation that would engage the ideas and issues presented in the book.  Unfortunately following mid-term the pandemic hit and they were not able to complete their work in clay but only through developmental drawings.  Though they were not able to complete the installation I am grateful we had engaged this particular text.  These are some of the drawings they produced in the development of their collaborative installation. 
-Keaton Wynn

Nicole Marchant
“A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” Installation

During the spring semester of 2020 I assigned a group project for all ceramics students.  Together we read A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by AlexanderSolzhenitsyn.  After discussions about life in the Soviet Gulags students worked together to develop an installation that would engage the ideas and issues presented in the book.  Unfortunately following mid-term the pandemic hit and they were not able to complete their work in clay but only through developmental drawings.  Though they were not able to complete the installation I am grateful we had engaged this particular text.  These are some of the drawings they produced in the development of their collaborative installation. 
-Keaton Wynn

Allison McLemore
Corona Fire

This piece was created by using photoshop. I read an article stating that the firefighters in the Western United states were affected by the Coronavirus during the time the training was to begin for the wildfire Season that takes place.

Allison McLemore
Right Choice

This image was created to portray that the doctors and nurses all over the globe have to decide who is to live and who is to die during this pandemic. I took a picture of a nurse and added a dark wispy background in photoshop along with a headstone and a ventilator. Ventilators and hospital beds are running out while the numbers continue to grow.

Allison McLemore
Rona Land

This image started off as a fun design with my works that were made during the semester. When talking to my professor, Laurel Robinson, she made a point where this image reminds her of the coronavirus as the virus could be anywhere on anything and everyone. The virus is portrayed as the head floating around in the space. 

Allison McLemore
Savior Or Traitor

This was created while reading an article over the camps and makeshift prisons near the border between Mexico and the U.S. that contains children that are claimed as “illegal aliens.” A Californian Judge has asked for the children to be released during this time to fend for themselves as the virus rages on so they will not be stuck in a confined space, waiting to be infected and possibly to die.

Amber Moore

In today’s society, our lives are becoming more digitized and it is altering the way that we live. This is even more true now that social distancing and distance learning are becoming the new norm. Our main form of human connection is through our technology and these connections feel as if they are not as real as the face to face interactions that we had just months ago. The only places that people can go without worry is into nature. In these pieces, I have taken the people and have simplified their forms into geometric shapes similar to pixelization to emphasize the digital connection that we have.

Cloie Davis

This is a moving study of my best friend dancing in my living room. The piece communicates my feelings about isolation and this time and focuses on the mental health struggles people are facing. Sudden loneliness and isolation has caused many people to develop depression and anxiety. While I have not felt lonely since I have been quarantining with my best friend, I have seen a significant impact in my mental health. I have PTSD and anxiety, and I have found it much harder to cope. To illustrate my emotions, I pictured my friend dancing in a purple, glooming, background with harsh scribbles and lines that feel very strange and uncertain. I also included a dark spot on the top of his forehead to show the way depression and anxiety feels. While these elements are very dark, I wanted to create a hopeful image that brings light to the situation. The act of him dancing in itself resonates that. As dancing is joyful and euphoric, there is so much power in dancing through uncertainty and tough situations. I created the piece to bring this feeling of hope and light to other people and to remind both them and myself to dance through their tribulations. 

Emily Burke

In a world that is overtaken with plastic and social media, I find myself distracted from the things in my life that are valuable. I notice that I take my family, friends, and privilege for granted. However, I’m not the only one. I see it with nearly everyone I meet. This thoughtless state has seemingly heightened while in this pandemic state. Everyone wants to go out, eat at restaurants, shop, get haircuts, all while so many other people are being affected by this disease. To be careless and ignorant, buzzing around like flies looking for garbage; people don’t care what they do or who they are affecting.

During this period of social distancing at home, I have explored new processes to express this idea. For example, I began using the trash we produce while here at home to collage onto the surface of my paintings. I use a hole punch to cut out little circles from soda cans, arranging each one in a grid to create the compound eyes, or the fly eyes, that replace the eyes of the figures presented. Without the tools I would typically use in the studio space I have access to on campus, I have to make adjustments. I can still create in these conditions, and we all have had to make adjustments. Being able to be conscious of the rest of the world, your privilege, and make those adjustments is what keeps us compassionate and humane during these times. However, it is easy to see that much of this value for other people is lost to the materialism and ignorance that causes this haze.

Ezra Yant

Western thinker and writer, Richard Sennett, outlines in his work The Fall of Public Man the many influences that contribute to the structures of contemporary western society.  He recognizes that people are more likely to ‘wear a mask’ (in the manner of a performer) in public spaces while reserving the authentic self for their home.  During this time of quarantine, much of the world is having to spend more time in their private, living spaces than they may have ever before; many having to work from the same spaces.  These two paintings emphasize the greater intimacy with our spaces that many of us are experiencing.  The two images are details of my own home in the Southeast United States.  They are examples of an interaction with our space that is small but integral to the way we behave with the space.  Even to be able to create these paintings, I had to navigate and interact in new ways with the space available within my own home to work.  As such, these paintings encourage viewers to consider the ways they interact with their own spaces in this time of confinement.

Description of Pieces and Working Space

Both paintings, Door to the Backyard and Treehouse, are oil paint on 3’ x 4’ canvases.  Working with oil paint in a household setting was different for my family.  Thankfully, they were all supportive and did not mind the fumes from the various solvents or my taking up space in a well trafficked area.  I set up a workstation on a table that I had covered with terrycloth on top of a plastic layer and an easel within a space no more than two square meters.  I used two white serving platters for palettes and a nesting glass vessel for my brushes to soak in mineral spirits.

Hannah Finley
Chalk Pastels

“During this uncertain point in history, we have been instructed to remain within our homes. They were our safe havens from the everyday, but now within its confines, the safety our homes provide has slowly become smothering. Comfortable becomes uncomfortable. A house is no more a home than it is this precautionary prison, and yet nothing has truly changed at all.”

The area I live in is surrounded by forests and thick foliage, ungroomed and untamed. The week Quarantine began, many of my far-spread neighbors coped by burning their burn-piles as they reclaimed their yards from nature’s invasion. The area was blanketed eerily in smoke for an entire week, and even in my home I could not escape it, just as we can’t escape the uncertainty of the pandemic. Like the invasion of nature, everywhere we look we are bombarded by the media providing us with harrowing statistics and the struggles of finding a cure, which, though important to keep track of, does little to settle our nerves.

Hannah Finley
Object Positive
Chalk Pastels

A piece made in process of a related final project, Object I am, Object I’m not, portraying a positive interaction with the object I am: a pair of work gloves. Work gloves are helpful, tough, and reliable, all qualities in which we need the most during this moment in history. Though we are all physically distant, we need to be strong and support each other as much as we can.

Hannah Finley
Object I am, Object I’m not
Oil Pastel (top) and Chalk Pastel (bottom)

A final project for the Spring 2020 Semester. I aspire to be a pair of work gloves, and I try not to be a stepping stool. I am tough and reliable, and I am not meant to be stepped on, or a hazard to the people who seek my assistance. Even so, both objects are helpful, as am I. One of the most dangerous actions a stepping stool can cause is falling, and sometimes the most dangerous person to someone’s well-being is themselves. And yet, in the end of all things, we can only help and be helped as much as we are willing to help ourselves. During the pandemic, we have been isolated from one another, which in turn has given us the opportunity to turn our focus inward on our own humanity. I am hopeful that the COVID-19 pandemic will be resolved, and that we will emerge as better individuals.

Hannah Strunk

Corona-cation Isolation
Oil pastel
This piece is about struggling with mental health and dissociation while in quarantine isolation. It also talks about having an animal as my companion and the significance of that relationship in helping me to stay somewhat grounded in times of instability.

Houston Scott

I found myself to be like a multi-tool, I have a lot of interests and enjoy problem solving. I’m unlike a lens, I have trouble focusing on what I need to when I need to, those other interests distract me from the work I need to do. 

The bottom drawing was an attempt at showing the effect of televisions, computers and phones at this time of isolation. For many of us it’s our only source of communication with the world. But at the same time, while we are on these devices, we are overwhelmed with at the negativity that is constantly being broadcasted today. 

Drawing has been a welcome distraction during this time, I can just sit listen to a podcast or two and forget about things for a little while. 

JaMarcus Coley 
Oil pastel

I worked with dark colors to represent the emotions I had during isolation. I colored myself as blue because I was upset and had to accept the fact and adjust to this “new normal”. The background is in space because of social distancing, and due to that- I have been spending more time on the computer talking with my friends and being with my family. However, I would like to have a taste of normal life after this virus. 

Thank you art faculty for everything. I’m so grateful that y’all came into my life. This is the first time a department/major treated me like family. 

Jim Klein

These pieces were created about my experience with the pandemic. I have been holed up in my house watching the chaos unfold as it is all I can do for now. While the virus rages in the U.S. I have been working on creating every day. These pieces were created with a mixture of traditional and digital techniques. They display my attitude and outlook on this horrible situation such as what I feel like needs to be done, possible solutions and the sources of my frustration with people who only make the virus stronger by being negligent. I plan to expand on these ideas during my period of quarantine.

Josh Morgan

During isolation there were many individuals who had to work just to help others or to simply get by during these tough times, which some of these individuals seemed drained of motivation or other desires. This image attempts to show the draining effect using color that is slowly changing or leaving the individual.

Josh Morgan

Today we see everyone is getting to a point that they may feel stretched thin, or torn apart due to the pandemic, but we’re still connected. The piece here is intended to show the tension between different people through these tough times, while the situation may seem bleak we are still connected to each other by the strings that once had them stitched together. This idea came to me when thinking of social media and how it helps us maintain contact with friends and family.

Keke Ball

My work explores the complexities and dualities of being a person of color, while reflecting on the humanity within blackness. My juxtaposition of figure and background depicts the fluidity of being black. The pieces question exactly what it means to be a person of color. During the pandemic I shifted my work from painting to digital, for the sake of the cleanliness of my home. 

Laurel Robinson, Professor of Painting and Drawing and Chair of the Department of Visual Arts
Fake Rocks/Real Illusions

Oils and graphite on MDF and plywood with “rocks” created with a plaster/paper fiber mold able and then painted with acrylics and latex paints
The coronavirus pandemic has made us all understand how connected we actually are. One person started the spread of a virus that now infects most of the world. This pandemic sent many of us to our homes isolated from most others, but not as isolated as in past plagues. Some of us have technologies that allow us to get local and international news both true and false. Many of us have phones and computers that let us talk to friends, relatives and even strangers. We share our concerns, truths and sometimes even lies.

My work for many years has explored how ideas move through time and space. I have chosen to picture these ideas as shapes sometimes with spikes/thorns or sometimes soft and fleshy or sometimes with teeth….Sometimes really great ideas are transformed into really harmful ones.

Paintings are arenas for communication. They are silent in our noisy world. They are still, not moving in our quickly changing world. They can be scenes from the actual or the imagined world. Painted illusions of real or invented objects can float in a sea of any color. My recent series of images were created since I went home in mid March. These images pose questions about what is real/true and what is a false, counter-narrative.

Madison Rutledge
Uncomfortable Transitions

These pieces come directly from my solo exhibition, Uncomfortable Transitions. I explore the connection between uncomfortable transitions and the dissatisfaction that comes with them. Dissatisfaction dwells on you, be it dissatisfaction with your intelligence, your ability and physical appearance, or your place in the world, it is always there in the back of your mind. One must find ways to overcome these hindrances or succumb to the pressure and let it completely consume you. The amorphous blobs, tendrils, and spikes in images 1 and 2 show a non-objective representation of the emotions of an uncomfortable transition. On the other hand, image 3 represents a personal uncomfortable transition I got to see up close of my fiance moving apartments, buying a home, and progressing in his career.

Moving from a studio space at college back home to a small bedroom was an uncomfortable transition in itself. I had a space blocked out for painting in acrylic, a small corner of the garage where I propped up the stretched canvas and sat on the cement floor.  This space was quickly needed again by my family, which forced me to halt my paintings. I continued working through the pandemic with a medium that allowed me to create art in my bedroom, graphite on MDF board. 

Makenzie Hall

My work represents stereotypes that are given to African Americans in today’s society. I use these distraught backgrounds with painted flowers and MDF cut-out of a hoodie figures on top. The hoodie comes with many stereotypes within itself, which is why I use the MDF board. It is flat, which represents how these stereotypes make African Americans flat, and while the hoodie makes the black male “scary” on the distraught background, the flowers are meant to disarm the figure. 

Maya Wynn

Working at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I found new space and time for the things I love, like making art. This time was also useful for self-improvement, challenging myself and reflecting on what I value most.  In spite of the small benefits from my time in isolation I realized how much I missed being in the classroom engaged with ideas and surrounded by my peers.

Savannah Gipson
Ship, Visitors, Square Masks

I made these pieces while under quarantine. The two digital composites are photo manipulations created in order to emulate the general feeling of the current pandemic. Square Masks focuses more on the strange emptiness and how alien it is to see a normally busy area devoid of humans and shut down. Visitors focuses more on the inherent looming feeling of doom in the background that many people are feeling as the quarantine stretches forward. 

The watercolor piece, Ship, steers away from the pandemic and focuses more on depression as an entity that takes over memories and tarnishes them. The ship in question is a model ship that my late grandfather made.

Nicole Marchant
Formal Gathering, 2020
Digital collage, digital drawing

A last goodbye is something usually so intimate and tender. A gathering of those who knew the deceased to wish the dead goodbye. Yet, that is no longer possible during these turbulent times, times in which death itself seems to linger in intimate groups. It is temporarily having to watch the casket through a camera, but the loss is permanent. The crowd won’t be there to send their beloved away, but there are always those watching and sending their thoughts in spirit.

Nicole Marchant
Chaotic Collaboration, 2020
Digital collage

A culmination of efforts throughout the past few years. With COVID-19, the school year felt to have been cut short and rushed. It is strange, when usually the end is something that is savored by many. This piece is a photo collage of the works done throughout the semester, somewhat chaotically like the end of the year and the attempt to make the most out of a distant learning and teaching.

Nicole Marchant
Intimate Mourning, 2020
Digital collage, digital drawing

The United States has suffered a great loss due to COVID-19 and it has been suggested to the masses to not attend funerals due to the dangerous way the virus spreads. Many have lost their family and friends, and due to circumstance, are unable to send them off properly either during, or after the funeral. Streaming services has been made available, but there is still that distance that can’t be closed. An intimate tender goodbye is made virtual and artificial. The feelings are genuine, nevertheless. 

The pieces above are photo manipulations of various images as well as digital drawings. Due to COVID-19, our class took a more technological approach to our projects and completed our assignments using photo manipulation applications. This helped with having to set up a studio space at home, which was difficult for myself due to a rather large family comprised of children who take up a lot of space for play. Some images used in the Chaotic Collaboration piece were also done during COVID-19, and were done in a small space I made for myself on the living room floor, which was taken down and put up as needed.

Students’ work has been developed within a project that was a part of the MA study course Critical Analysis of Visual Media. Students attending the course come from various fields of design, from visual communications, interior design, fashion and textile design to design management. For the project they had to select an existing work from visual art or popular culture and interpret it. Then they had to transform this original to their own work, following a path of inner criticism (understood in a Greenbergian way as a criticism within the medium) on the one hand, and outer criticism (in a sense of social criticism), on the other. In the end they had to describe and interpret their own work and present it to other students.
-Prof. Ernest Ženko, PhD

Ana Šček
Out of sight, out of mind (right)

Sweep it under the carpet (left)

Andreja Terčelj
OnLine Net (right)

Douglas Coupland
Liquid Video Game Pop Head (left)

Aleksandra Karkashian
Detail Ground X, 2016
Oil and salt on paper

Črt Vučko
Coffee-19, 2020
Acrylic and coffee with salt on canvas

Klavdija Maček
Share less. You never know. (right)

Charles J. Noke
Talk less. You never know. (left)

Mirna Mikulic
Bring Back the Future (right)

Lynn Davis
Iceberg 23 (left)

Petra Cirman
Obsession or legend? (right)

Mario Sorrenti
Obsession Calvin Klein, Obsession through the ages (left)

Suzana Čolić
Join us. Less coal, more life (right)

Dušan Petrič 1916-1964
Join us. More coal, closer to socialism (left)

Akira Alves
Various Sketchbook Entries leading to Environmental Platter piece

As with several artists during this time, I had to undergo a change in how I go about my art. With clay, the creative possibilities are near endless, as long as you have an idea of where you are going. But during COVID, instead of starting my work with the abstract concepts of what I wanted to create, I had to work within the boundaries of what materials I already had. This forced me to think outside of my own personal limitations and explore a whole new aspect of the creative process and has given me to opportunity to grow as an artist.

I have always had a love-hate relationship with my sketchbooks, with the ideas in paper never quite living up to my expectations. But this particular project may have changed my mind about that. As soon as I saw the materials I used for this platter, I knew the direction I wanted to go with it. But try as I might I wasn’t able to describe to anyone how the platter I made could possibly be translated into clay, or how I even ended up with the final iteration. However, once I started to explore the silhouette and the basic forms within my sketchbook, it was like I found my own little Rosetta Stone, allowing my sketchbook to show people what I saw, in a way that I would never have been able to verbally.

Anna Shackleford
Found Object Teapot

Working in COVID: For me working from home brought a lot more challenges than I expected. I had to learn how to balance creativity with pure necessity for a project. I wanted good work but I also had lots of other things consuming my time. 

With this piece I really wanted to get outside the box. I started by trying to find some of the oddest shaped items I had in my home and roll with it. Overall I think the piece itself was playful and had a sense of movement with it. 

Carol Harris
Environmental Platter

Working during a quarantine was a challenge I wasn’t expecting in my senior year. My house may be a wreck, but I learned to think of design and execution in a totally different way. Material and what that material meant to the piece came sharply into focus as I learned to utilize whatever I had on hand. Suddenly anything could become art.

For my environmental platter material was foremost on my mind. What could I find in my yard that was completely organic? The weaved leaves comprising the floor of the platter offer a nice contrast on both color and texture. The purple flowers and orange birch bark create an interesting pattern of organic shape and color against the pattern created by the woven leaves. The outer vines create movement with their curling tangled lines.

Cierra Carter
Pit-fire kiln project

Done during lockdown on artists family land in rural southwest Missouri

Cierra Carter

None of the pinch pots melted or exploded (Yay!) They all have blackened areas, they all make the right tinging noise, but when scratched, they do flake apart. I am currently testing them with water to see if they will soggify or not.

Cierra Carter

Creating art without access to art supplies has really taught me that it is the artist that makes the art, not the materials. Also, Mother Nature is the ultimate artist, and I have a lot to learn from her. 

Ceramics is basically the manipulation of the naturally occurring rock cycle, and I have decided to take a page out of nature’s book and try it for myself. With locally sourced clay, and processing and firing techniques with minimal environmental impact, similar to those that occur in nature, I have attempted to make my own fancy rocks, otherwise known as ceramic pots.  

Connor Mikaelian

Four Course Meal is about the intermingling of consumerism, planned obsolescence, and changing ideological values. A large part of my inspiration came from observing bags of old toys at garage sales and thrift stores and thinking about children outgrowing their toys.

COVID19 has placed certain restrictions on what I could accomplish, especially working with clay, but I think that this experience has tested my resourcefulness in a positive way.

Delaney Manning
Found Object Teapot

Before COVID-19 I enjoyed creating art with various mediums and learning new techniques from others. In the depths of COVID-19, there is a lot more creativity because you are somewhat limited to the materials that are in your house. I tried to create a theme with this piece by using materials that one would use when creating other things. I also went for a more traditional teapot in terms of forms.

Derek Fitzpatrick
Pit-fire kiln project

Creating art during the Covid-19 crisis became harder than it had been before, because I didn’t have access to the studio at school and I couldn’t get feedback from friends as easily. Although creating art became more challenging it gave me something to work on during my extra free time. Creating art gave me a positive way to take my mind off of what was going on in the world around me.

For my final piece this semester I researched alternative firing processes and built a small wood fire and pit fire hybrid kiln. I built this kiln out of scrap metal and bricks that I had sitting around. I fired 6 pieces in this kiln which I stoked for a few hours and then let it fire until it burnt out overnight.

Keegan Watson
Found Object Teapot

The piece is a combination of 3 household objects connected by masking tape.  The goals was to put together a teapot using a few objects as possible.  For this found teapot, I used a dart gun as the spout, a filled coin bank as the base, and a roll of duct tape as the handle.

In the midst of COVID, I have to rely on using materials that are easily accessible from my household.  Also, I had to deal with a new schedule which came with its own set of time constraints.

Keith Ekstam, Faculty
Panacea 2020

Minnow trap, test tubes/assembled
One positive aspect to following stay- at -home is that I have had some time to work with various materials and ideas. One approach has been to dig out old found and made objects and re-purpose them into new configurations. The piece shown here is assembled from items that I have had around for a long time. It is titled Panacea 2020 and points at aspects of the predicament we currently find ourselves in.

I have also had the privileged opportunity to observe the particular world around our home come alive during the spring. Nature and reality march on as plants and flowers slowly unfurl,  insects emerge, and birds build nests and raise their young. It almost seems as if we humans have nothing to do with their ancient existence. During “normal” times we would be too busy to notice these small, but lovely and important things.

Liv Smith
Seeking Philautia- Untitled II
Earthenware, glaze, and life plants

Seeking Philautia- Untitled II is about the obstacles I have faced on my journey to self-acceptance and self-love. In my work, I construct natural self-reflections. I combine my passion for ceramics, horticulture, and geology to express who I am and how I feel within.

To create these natural self-reflections, I build large anthropomorphic sculptures out of clay and I embed crystals as if they are growing from within my forms. I use these anthropomorphic forms to represent my physical being. While the live plants and crystals embedded in my forms represent the relationship between myself and my growing philautia.

Graduating and working in art in the midst of COVID has been challenging but has made me grow as a person and as an artist.

Madeline Netzer
Found Object Teapot

Art has been the only bit of normalcy for me throughout this pandemic; I’m forever grateful to art for keeping my mind and body busy during this time! The same goes to my teachers for working so hard to make life and class feel even a little normal.

On my fruity teapot, I tried to mimic my banana spout with a yellow bell pepper handle for some rhythm. The blue in the dish that holds to fruit helped it feel less monotonous, since the rest of the teapot is very warm toned.

Makayla Martin
Found Object Teapot

As an artist I’ve always tried making things that directly relate to something personal to me. COVID-19 changed the way I see the world and how it functions as a society. In some of my artwork I’ve been trying to capture the unsteady, mechanical, disjointed way the world has felt. This piece is attempting to create a mad hatter styled piece. It is top- heavy, has a spout that would make it difficult to pour, and a handle that would be harder to grip. I wanted to create something that looked organic, industrial, and eye catching.

Rachel Harper
Various Sketchbook Entries

It has been challenging to find new ways to approach art during this time, but I think it has really opened me up to just how flexible artists can be when they truly want to create. I use my sketchbook to help myself translate imagery in my head into a more 3-dimensional concept. I think very illustratively so it serves as a starting point for converting those ideas into concrete pieces.

Rachel Harper
Various Sketchbook Entries

Angela Hung, Associate Professor of Art / Gallery Director

My latest sculpture is an extension of my previous body of work.  It expresses a personal feeling toward life, family, religion and being a woman.  Henry Moore wrote, “I think the life that most women have, with babies and husbands and household work, is tougher than men’s.  They have to be capable and physically strong”.  I feel I must address all the challenges and difficulties of life at once like the Thousand Hand Guan Yin, with compassion, patience and unconditional love.  My intent was to emphasize the power of expression not through a sculpted Guan Yin, but rather in the form of a contemporary female figure.  This piece is a work in progress.  There are parts to install behind the figure which I hope to finish in the fall. 

The challenge of teaching remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.  I think it’s difficult for both students and faculty.  We have lost the warmth of face to face communication in lieu of more abbreviated methods of instruction.  There are many concerns and worries under this uncertainty.  All these stresses can cause some students to not communicate or to lose a sense of time management while staying at home.  And yet, I am inspired that many of my students have pressed onward successfully.

Jen Metcalfe
Effigy Vessel “Serpens Regenerantur”

The title is Latin for “Snake of Rebirth”.  In Roman mythology the snake was a symbol of protection and rebirth. Romans would craft these vessels to fill them with oils or other offerings to be placed in the tombs of their dead.  Stoneware, slab and coil built.

Mahogne Chapple

This portrait of Bjork is a graphite piece that I made for my drawing class. Bjork is a very eccentric musician. The pieces I create are far from being mainstream. For this reason, I chose her for my portrait project.

Mahogne Chapple
Waffle Shoes

This is a still life watercolor painting of shoes being staged as waffles. I really enjoy Surrealism so this was a fun project for me to work on.

Sarah Gorman

I was taking a 3d design class and the last project we started prior to the stay at home order was a foam sculpture. We were assigned to take inspiration from another artist’s work. I took inspiration from Barbara Hepworth’s Pelagos. Her piece is representative of the land that surrounds the water. I was extremely drawn to this piece and thought I could make something really different, but really cool that delivered a similar feeling. I wanted to put my own spin on it, I don’t live near the ocean, so my experience with water for the most part ends at a swimming pool so I chose to keep the perimeter fully intact to keep the “water” inside.  Working with only tools I had at home was challenging, but in the end I really enjoyed it.