Six senior studio art majors will display collections of their original work for the public to view and enjoy in two exhibitions this semester.

Senior studio art majors Ann Bogenrief, Shari Grinnell and Ben Schipper have their work on display now through Thursday. Senior studio art majors David Cochran, Cherith Leidigh and Julia Miles will have their shows from Feb. 24 through March 7.

A third exhibition in March will feature graduate students’ work.

The pieces, which will be for sale as well, will be displayed along the exhibition corridor in the Sargent Art Building.

Both undergraduate and graduate students must present a show to complete their degrees. The individual pieces, around 10 to 15 per student, have already been graded individually, but the students will also receive a grade on the presentation of their collections.

“It’s to give them the experience of building a body of work and also preparing a show just like you would in the real world, so when they leave here they’re ready to put up a show somewhere else,” art professor Mr. Kevin Isgett said.

Isgett explained that the seniors have been preparing their collections over the three previous semesters in their directed studies classes. They have created their pieces specifically for their shows, as opposed to simply selecting their favorite projects from other classes.

Grinnell said that unlike previous years, they now prepare their pieces within the unity of a certain theme. Her portfolio comprises a study in portraits, highlighting the internal emotions that people often hide or we fail to see.

“The relationship we can have with another person is what I like about a portrait, but I like that it’s frozen in time,” she said.

Putting together a portfolio can even show the artist things about his or her own art. “As an artist, you just kind of notice that your work is about certain things,” Schipper said. He focuses on illustrative work and the story-telling power of art.

The artists send invitations for the event to both art faculty at nearby colleges and artists in the area. The publicity can help them market their work along the lines they hope to follow after graduation.

Miles hopes to design clothing and costumes for illustrations, so she has tailored her work towards fashion illustrations and portraits.

Each student produces an artist statement to accompany his or her exhibit. An artist statement communicates the artist’s philosophy of art and what he or she hopes to convey with the pieces on display.

“It’s interesting to take the time to write about certain convictions you have about art — what you think the purpose of art is, how you can use it to glorify God and your personal take on it,” Miles said.

“Come and see what our artists are doing,” Isgett said. “To get to this point, they have to be pretty serious.”

And you don’t have to be an “art person” to enjoy the seniors’ work. “When I go to hear music, I don’t understand everything they’re doing, but I enjoy it,” Schipper said. “You can appreciate something without understanding it in the fullest extent.”

“Think about the pieces. A lot of people just look at [them] and pass, but they miss a lot of the story,” Grinnell said.