Senior Projects, Fall 2019
Wasmer Art Gallery
December 5 - December 13, 2019
Opening Reception - Thursday, December 5, 5 -7pm
At the end of their studies, art majors are required to develop and present a coherent body of self-generated work. This exhibition combines their knowledge of techniques and concepts while drawing on research of historical and contemporary artists. Each senior art major in the exhibition designs and creates a unique installation that combines their technical skills and conceptual vision.
Sponsored by The Layden Family Foundation, The Smith Family Foundation of Estero and WGCU Public Media
Image credit: Allana Nagy, Beneath the Flowers (installation detail), Senior Projects, Spring 2019, Ceramic. Photo by James Greco
Megan Ambrose WORLDS OF MOTIONToggle More Info
Motion — it makes the world go ‘round. Disney World, that is. Abstract forms give a sense of unreality by exploring what is hidden. Long exposure photography is a method of capturing and bending time and objects into something ethereal to reveal a magical world, hidden to the naked eye. By exploring the concept of movement, motion is captured, and this creates personal moments with long exposure photography and the use of light, time, color, and chance.
Throughout my life, I have been fortunate enough to frequent Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. No matter how many times I drive through the welcoming gate to the Walt Disney World Resort, I’m overcome with a sense of anticipation and hope; I leave reality behind and dive into a world where all my worries fade away and journey into lands that inspire me to enjoy the moment, and take life one day at a time. The sights, sounds, architecture, entertainment, people, and of course, the magic of Disney have left an indelible impact on my being. This project captures the whimsical and exciting qualities of Disney attractions; my vision is to show viewers another magical side of Disney through abstract images with a focus on motion of objects, form, and light.
My photos combine the movements of objects and light. My technique creates new sequences which reveal an abstract relationship between motion and form and are inspired in part by water color paintings. By choosing mainly formal solutions, I develop forms that do not follow logical criteria but are based only on the viewer to question and make new personal associations; interpretation becomes multifaceted. My objective is to lure viewers in to really take an up-close look at what they are perceiving, encourage personal engagement, and to exist in a moment in time. By applying abstraction, I find that movement reveals a hidden world not normally visible to the naked eye. I find it fascinating that with long exposure photography and the emphasis of time and motion, and light in creating an image, that no two photos will ever be the same, even captured milliseconds apart.
Davina Angstenberger IT CAME FROM CYBERSPACEToggle More Info
While the internet allows people all over the world to connect with each other and has had many positive impacts, it can also be a dark and twisted place. In recent years, it has become increasingly apparent that the toxic aspects of the internet are spilling out into society. Users cannot just simply log off anymore, as the internet’s scope of influence now reaches beyond Cyberspace: the world where digital communication takes place. The internet’s openness aids in the spread of misinformation and gives a platform to those who incite hate that can lead to violence. Some online spaces harm both users and those they interact with offline on a daily basis. These include the incel community, which several mass shooters are known to have referenced or engaged with. Pro-ana (anorexia) message boards encourage unhealthy habits and fuel eating disorders. The anti-vaccination movement, believed to be fueled by Russian trolls looking to stoke discord, was recently listed among the top ten threats to global health in 2019 by the World Health Organization.
Born in 1999, I cannot remember a time when the internet was not a significant part of my life, and it continues to be a place where I spend a significant amount of time. I am appalled at what cyberspace has become and some of the very real dangers that it poses to our world. I want to use this exhibition to express these feelings, as well as make viewers of my work aware of the unseen influences on our world that exist in a virtual space. For this body of work, I have asked myself one question: If the collective consciousness of the internet could spawn monsters that attack and corrupt society, what would they look like? Based on this idea, I created illustrations of cats – the creature that best represents the internet as a whole – distorted and driven mad by the online movements, groups and conspiracies that they represent to illustrate the very real threats that they pose to society. Some are spliced with insects and other “undesirable” and “icky” creatures, while others are distorted and mutated to give them a monstrous, alien-like appearance – something like concept art for a science fiction movie. Each of my pieces depicts a “mascot” of sorts – a monstrous creature that visually embodies the toxic virtual community or act that it represents, eager to break free and wreak havoc. Hence, the title of the exhibition: It Came from Cyberspace.
While the toxicity of the internet is a serious subject, my art also examines it from a critical, satirical perspective, which the titles and details of pieces will reflect. Titles are composed of number sequences, acronyms and vocabulary associated with internet culture, both in America and other parts of the world like China. Subtle visual references and symbols within pieces add depth and offer clues to their meaning. Most of my pieces consist of bright neon colors, which I feel are representative of technology. Some of the pieces appear mostly realistic, while others are done in more of a “superflat” style, which is commonly found in cartoons and digital media. These pieces are printed on posters or painted. Other pieces are painted digitally and then digitally manipulated to create the appearance of various visual errors and “glitches”, tying into the idea of the internet being distorted and broken. Using digital programs, I have also incorporated animation in my digitally-displayed works, adding movement to figures and giving the appearance of glitches actively occurring on the screen.
Kelly Bermudez COUNTDOWN TO EXTINCTIONToggle More Info
To destroy nature is to destroy life; to negatively impact the natural world will have an adverse effect on us all. Causing destruction and havoc of habitats will leave us with nothing but bones and fossils of what was once flourishing. Currently, the natural extinction rate, known as the “background” rate, is one out of five species go extinct every year. Scientists have estimated that we are losing 1,000 times the background rate due almost entirely to human activities. With ecosystems rapidly changing animals are faced with obstacles in order to survive, such as diminishing food sources, deforestation, climate change, and introductions of invasive species. With many species' numbers dwindling, the actions we take will determine whether we can save them or accelerate their extinction. Based on what is happening to habitats every day around the globe, Countdown to Extinction focuses on the Key deer, Lower Keys marsh rabbits, and the Key Largo woodrats and their endangerment in the rapidly growing area of the Florida Keys.
In the balance of life and death there is something in between. Therefore, I asked myself, can we protect endangered species before it is too late? Could we put a halt to new construction that dismantles ecosystems? Can we become more aware of our carbon footprint? What are the answers to these questions? The answer is to come together and find ways to avoid playing an impactful role in extinction. The reason I chose this topic was to examine the boundaries held between the natural world and how we interact with it. Creating soft sculptures with textiles that hold ephemeral memories of previous owners can be related to how delicate ecosystems are; one extinct animal or plant can have great influence over the fate of its ecosystem.
While endangered species is a matter of its own importance, the art created based on scientific evidence of the species’ endangerment examines the beauty of the animals and the natural world. The skulls were created with remnants of white reclaimed textiles and dainty embroidered cloths that convey the fragility and innocence of the animal. The collagraph prints were created with natural and native Florida plants that were pressed and made to represent fossils of the food sources of the selected species. If the Keys continue to develop, these endangered species, like many others in the Keys, will continue to lose their habitat, food sources, and are closer than ever to extinction.
Allison Gentry DIFFERENT WORLDS, SAME CONFLICTSToggle More Info
The life of fame and fortune may appear to be glamorous and mesmerizing to many people worldwide. In reality, this kind of lifestyle can come with a price to pay, difficulties and hardships that can make the mentality suffer. The road to success in the music industry can be full of pitfalls, obstacles, and pressure on people. These can be overwhelming and often lead to tragic situations that are usually not addressed. This has been evidence throughout history and holds true for a risen star halfway around the globe in South Korea.
My series, Different Worlds, Same Conflicts, showcase the personal conflicts of Park Jimin, a world-class pop musician and dancer from South Korea. These personal conflicts include lack of personal privacy, bombardment with negativity, inner sadness, seeking self-love, aggressive fan adoration, and an eating disorder. Through all these trials that Jimin has faced during his career, he was able to get back up again and continue to perform as a world class musician. As a fan, I admire him for his willingness to share his weaknesses and his inspirations. His music and lyrics touch my heart and encourages me and others to seek the help and support we need for similar issues.
My exhibit consists of a total of six portraits of Jimin which depict the different challenges that he has gone through during his career. Each portrait is made with the use of pastels and the color choices are more of a nontraditional style for figurative art. The colors correlate with the certain struggle and emotion that is being portrayed in each image. The different facial expressions reinforce each specific anguish and pain that Jimin has gone through. By portraying the personal struggles and challenges of Park Jimin, these artworks will inspire the viewer’s universal connections with similar emotions. Viewers will know that they are not alone and that they can reach out to others for help.
Korey Harrison UNTOLDToggle More Info
The Untold series is a journey about healing and moving on from harmful memories and emotions. Everyone has a past, for some, the past is filled with painful memories they can’t escape from. As a result, that pain is pushed under the surface and not properly dealt with. Art can be very healing and is used as therapy to help deal with tough situations. In creating the Untold series, Art as therapy, was used in the creative process to start personal healing. By using Art as therapy, I was able to use my subconscious mind to help create biomorphic organic forms, which are forms that resemble living organisms. This technique comes from the Surrealism Art Movement where the artist would use their dreams and subconscious as subject matter often done in an abstract way. The goal of Surrealist artist was to liberate thought, language, and human experience from the oppressive boundaries of rationalism. For this series, abstraction is a significant element in the concept; this is for myself and the viewer. By allowing the forms to be completely abstract it allows me to pore my personal subject matter into the sculptures creating aesthetically beautiful forms that can be interpreted by the viewer.
My series, Untold focuses on personal healing through expressive biomorphic abstract sculptures. My childhood was tough and communicating my feelings and emotions was something I never practiced. I allow my traumatic childhood experiences to propel me while creating these sculptural forms. This creative process actually has helped me come to terms with past negative emotions. Growing up I was taught that talking or showing my emotions was a sign of weakness so it was instilled in me to keep my emotions bottled up. Now, I know that not dealing with my past can affect my future in an unhealthy way. Making art has always been therapeutic for me and by using my art as therapy I can start to heal from the bad memories I couldn’t deal with at the time. By creating these beautiful organic forms, I have allowed myself to let-go, heal and find peace. In this way, I have truly understood the role of art therapy. Each sculpture is embedded with one of my past memories yet the resulting forms are meant to reflect positivity and beauty. I invite the viewer to interpret the flowing forms in their own ways and thus create their own stories.
For this project I used a variety of mediums and materials to create this series. Three sculptures are made using different types of exotic wood: Cocobolo, East Indian Rosewood, and Zebra Wood. Cocobolo is from Mexico. East Indian Rosewood comes from India. Zebra Wood is from Brazil. These pieces were made by laminating boards and carved using a variety of grinders and chisels. The surfaces are finely sanded and are left unstained. A final coat of Rubio’s Monocoat Oil is used as a protective top coat. The other three sculptures are ceramic, with each sculpture made using a different type of clay and firing method. One of the sculptures is stoneware clay that is fired in the gas kiln. I developed a unique glaze formula for this piece. Another sculpture is porcelain, which I fired using the Aluminum tinfoil Saggar process. This process incorporates organic materials wrapped inside the aluminum foil resulting in unique and unpredictable natural earthy surfaces. The last sculpture is made from Raku clay and fired using the Raku firing method. This firing technique involves burying the clay object in a pit filled with combustible materials. The process gives a very interesting surface design that feels organic yet looks flashy and exciting.
Haley Levy A TRIP TO OBLIVIONToggle More Info
In our modern world of facial recognition, artificial intelligence, and advanced medical technology the universe of science fiction doesn’t seem completely out of reach. Vintage science fiction allows us to see the speculation done by previous generations, and oftentimes those authors got scarily close to the truth. Although certain fantastical elements from retro sci fi have not manifested into reality, the ideas and concepts they propose are still relevant and compelling today. In general, the genre of science fiction has always had the ability to create complex allegories to real life concepts through the creation of elaborate and outlandish imagery. In the early 20th century, a huge variety of magazines filled with action packed, sci-fi tales were produced to readers looking for inexpensive entertainment. Many notable authors wrote stories for these publications or grew up reading them. There are hundreds of science fiction stories from this era that are obscure and forgotten. These half-century old tales present concepts that are surprisingly applicable to our modern lifestyles, and they deserve to be brought into the light and celebrated with a new audience.
Growing up, I loved the television show, The Twilight Zone, in which many episodes are actually based on short stories. I was always fond of science fiction, because it allowed my mind to explore ideas through amazingly bizarre means. Within the past year, my significant other revealed to me the wealth of sci fi stories that are so old they have become public domain, meaning they can be reprinted in any way one could think of. He and I realized that this was a gold mine of amazing work that could be repackaged and given a brand new life. We found that a magazine would be an incredible way to showcase these works, and adding all new illustrations throughout would not only provide a new, modern viewpoint to the works but also celebrate them in a way they have never been celebrated before. Packaging the stories as a magazine also references the original format in which many of these pieces were originally published. By reorganizing and reprinting these writings with all new visuals, I am bringing the stories and the authors back into the light and helping to celebrate and innovate a side of science fiction’s rich history for a brand new audience. I want the magazine to be a way the reader can explore other dimensions, galaxies, and timelines, on A Trip to Oblivion -- to the edges of reality.
I have created a magazine that republishes public domain science fiction short stories and pairs them with new illustrations. My project features the first issue of a magazine series, titled A Trip to Oblivion. I created a visual branding for the magazine as well as all of the illustrations within it. I also created a video which can be used for marketing purposes. By utilizing these stories, I am able to enjoy a rich and textured supply of inspiration with which to create art. My magazine’s retro aesthetic takes inspiration from mid-century style science fiction art, which is often found on book covers and within pulp magazines from that era. The illustrations were initially done with pen and ink and then colored digitally. This technique combines the texture and variety that comes from traditional art with the vibrance and flexibility that comes from digital art. The general visual style is expressive, and attempts to portray fantastical elements through semi realistic means. Although for this project I am providing all of the illustrations myself, for future issues, I want this to be an incredibly collaborative project in which many different artists can come together to honor and reimagine the strange world of science fiction.
Rebecca Nunez NATURE VISIONToggle More Info
For decades the surrounding areas of southwest Florida have experienced rampant unmanaged development. In more recent years, construction has increased exponentially, and the Southwest Florida landscape has suffered because of it. Although it enables less traffic as we gain more living opportunities, it steals from the beauty that Florida has offered from the beginning. Florida contains exclusive habitats that are both important to the wildlife that live in it, and the balance to our ecosystem. Without the preservation of the natural environment our natural resources will dry up, nature will be impacted negatively, and wildlife habitats will reduce significantly.
As a Florida native, I have a deep appreciation for its natural landscape in both walks around my neighborhood and in self-sustaining ecosystems, such as the Everglades swamps and flatwoods. To step into the wonders of nature is something that I’ve always enjoyed doing, as it puts my mind and heart at ease. I am in awe of my outside environment and I wonder if there is ever a time I miss a beautiful moment in my surroundings. Do others see what I experience when viewing the sunlight filtering through the tree branches? I want to explore the beautiful native plants that play an important part in our environment in Florida. I want to express the beauty that I see and feel in each place before humanity’s development destroys it.
Nature Vision has been an invaluable opportunity to spend dedicated time observing the natural environment of Florida. Through this I expressed painted sceneries with swamp life like cypress trees, ferns, and shallow ponds incorporated into their environment. The paintings explore different periods of the day, whether it is in the evening or right before a storm. It will also be in color to set the atmosphere that I see with my own eyes. I feel that this plays an important role in being able to view this native wildlife through the natural lighting that plein air provides. This helps to immerse oneself in and observe smaller details within the environment. The pieces contain focal points from the main public access parklands including Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. It includes details of the trunks of Cypress trees, and how narrow they become as they grow. I am also incorporating water, as it plays a vital role in the swamplands that it sustains.
Taylor Pearce WEDToggle More Info
The wedding industry is all about telling stories. It is in place to help couples tell their story and preserve the memory of their union. Every aspect of weddings can be personalized, from the cake to the decorations. Wedding stationary is the couple’s first introduction to their community as a soon-to-be married couple. Designers are given the task of supporting the client’s story through creative and unique designs which represent them. However, each designer is also striving to do so in a style which represents them. As weddings move further and further away from what has been traditionally designed, couples are pushing the industry into a more contemporary and unique direction. Interactive design has made its way into the wedding stationary industry and is a new step towards a more engaging experience for the guests.
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by beautiful papers, pens, and other stationery products, such as notepads, journals, and cards. I was notoriously known by my family to hoard all the pens and markers in the house! To this day, I have a basket in my apartment dedicated to my collection of stationery. As I’ve grown up, I’ve always loved telling stories, and as a designer, wedding stationary has become an ideal outlet for my creative passion to flow. Through my graphic and digital design skills, I have learned during my time here at FGCU, I have constantly pushed for a unique way of thinking and creating. For my future stationary business to stand out, I have chosen to specialize in creating an experience for my audience through motion graphics. Each and every invitation will come to life to tell each couple’s story.
My project itself is an interactive stationary set which looks as beautiful as traditional wedding stationary but comes to life through motion graphics in an app called Zappar. Three different sets show the variety of styles which can work with motion graphics. One which is more classic and traditional with watercolor illustrations, another which is simple and minimally modern in more of a typographic style, and the last with a bold, graphic illustrative style. The motion graphics allow me, as a designer to truly tell the story of each couple. The invitation packages will come with a card insert which will explain how guests can download the Zappar app for free. Once the QR code is scanned the phone camera can point at the invitation which will animate it to show the motion graphic. My project also includes mock-ups which show animations which can be created for wedding reception fun on the day-of! My ideal couples are those who aren’t afraid to break from tradition so their guests can be more engaged and involved in their story on what is supposed to be the best day of their lives.
Marcus Tricarico HER STORY AND MINEToggle More Info
Throughout the history of America, the mistreatment of women has been an ongoing tragedy for years. On average, nearly 30% of women in the United States have experienced various cases of sexism that include physical violence, rape, and harassment. With nearly twenty-four women per minute being victims of these tragedies, these various injustices continue to pervade American society. Despite the courageous efforts of several activist groups who attempt to put an end to gender inequality, women in America continue to suffer from these countless occurrences of injustices against them. The most prominent cases which include domestic violence, mental abuse, rape, discrimination towards sexual orientation, and mistreatment in a working environment.
The focus of my exhibition was inspired when members of my family and my close friends shared personal experiences with me. To my dismay and alarm, their stories revealed accounts of female discrimination that mirror common occurrences that have plagued American society for centuries and still today. There were times during my interviews with them where I was utterly speechless. These were my closest relations. I had no idea of what they had been dealing with. I was left in a state of shock and anger. These narratives motivated me to create artworks that would be instrumental in raising awareness, hopefully inspiring active engagement. I want people to be aware that their friends and families are also possible victims and we all are taking part in the abuses by ignoring and being complacent. I want people to ask themselves and others WHY these violations of women’s rights are not being addressed. My artworks are grouped into sets of two and each set represents a specific story relayed to me. As a whole, my exhibit represents the breadth of injustice women face in American society. This is a series of work that I will continue to explore.
The photographs are grouped into 5 sets. Each set has two poses of one model. One pose is a full figure and the other is a portrait pose. The full figure photographs have the model posing in a specific position and clothing meant to represent the emotional and subtle tone of the female injustice topic. The portrait photographs have the model posing with a certain prop that further symbolizes the message each photo group is representing. Each photograph is printed and mounted on a thick 18x24 photo-gloss board giving each piece a beautiful finish. These photographs were shot with the use of studio lighting equipment in order to achieve a soft and dramatic lighting effect on each model. These techniques resulted in creating a variety of emotions that expresses to the viewer how severe these cases of unjust discrimination towards women can be.