A small graduating class of only two studio art seniors, Euipyo Hong and Jordan Harbin, will display their artwork in the senior art exhibition opening Saturday, Oct. 14, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Ross Shoe, framing and exhibition coordinator for the studio art program, is supervising the exhibition this semester. Shoe said the senior art exhibition is the capstone project for senior studio art majors.
“It just ties [together] everything they’ve learned for this almost final exam scenario,” Shoe said.
Art faculty check the students’ artwork before the show and give the artists their final approval. Shoe said the senior exhibition provides the student artists with valuable practical experience by simulating a real gallery opening but in a controlled environment.
Shoe said that while the art exhibition normally displays a cohesive body of an artist’s work, Hong has a more varied style and use of mediums. Hong’s pieces include fashion illustrations, still life paintings and narrative illustrations, with some of those touching on the theme of dreams. Shoe described Hong’s exhibit as a general overview of his work and skill set.
Hong said his theme is dreams and imagination. He will also present illustrations featuring Disney princesses wearing modern fashion.
“In my opinion, art needs to have a story. So I hope the audience understands and loves the story,” he said.
Hong uses a variety of mediums in his artwork, including watercolor, gouache and oil paints as well as some digital painting, with watercolors being his preferred medium.
Through his artwork Hong said he wants to encourage people to listen to children’s dreams. He said when he was a child he created a piece of art depicting a story of a dolphin and a swan falling in love.
“Adults laughed at my [art]work, saying it was a ridiculous story,” Hong said. “I was timid, and it was a big scar.”
Hong said looking back, he can see that he has progressed in his art skills.
“I think I am still [a] weak artist,” he said. “I am not very skillful, but learning art makes me happy. So I believe I can develop myself further.”
Shoe described Harbin’s work overall as cohesive. Most of his pieces are illustrations depicting monsters, phobias and children reacting to them. Additionally, Harbin will present poster designs for classic horror films like Dracula and Frankenstein. Shoe said he thinks Harbin has drawn a lot from his experiences as a father to his son.
Harbin also develops the themes of imagination and childhood in his artwork.
He explores the fun aspect of childhood creativity like making up scary monsters and whimsical creatures.
“Part of my theme is trying to bring back that childhood imagination we all wish we had,” Harbin said. “
He said he prefers to do art he makes up in his mind as opposed to landscapes or still lifes because he wants to explore his creative freedom.
Harbin uses a wide variety of mediums, from watercolors to oil to simple pencil drawings. “It’s all over the place,” he said.
Harbin said although he likes to have a little of everything, he’s stronger in some mediums.
“I feel like my strength is in drawing, just pencil and paper. But it’s just because of the nature of creativity.”
Harbin said he does not necessarily have any personal messages he wants to communicate, but he does want the viewer to see a story in every piece of art.
“What I want to do is evoke the viewer’s imagination. I want them to be able to create a story in their own minds,” he said.
Regarding his artistic development, Harbin said he has progressed, from doing simple box sketches as a freshman to drawing what he imagines in his head as a senior now.
“I just always have fun,” Harbin said. “It’s not a job, not a project, just fun.”
Shoe recommends visitors read the artist statements, detailing students’ philosophy of art, to better understand the artwork. The show will close on Oct. 30.
Those interested in purchasing artwork can sign up on a sheet in the Sargent Art building corridor.