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Student artists find beauty in destruction

By Nicole Broomhead

It is the first day of class and your professor says, “For our first project, you must pick a work you have already completed, then create it three more times.” The assignment is vague, confusing and even a bit frustrating. But for senior fine art students here at the College, this was the basis of their senior thesis.

The goal was to have students build upon old work and create new pieces, emphasizing the process they follow during the assignment. This year’s first bachelor of fine arts seniors exhibition, “Multiplicities: Multiple Women/Multiple Works,” is one that focuses on the journey the female artist takes in discovering her voice within the greater context of the global and historical art conversation. It opened on Wednesday, Oct. 21 in the Arts and Multimedia Building, displaying the work of 10 different artists.

Senior art students build upon old work to create new pieces. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)
Senior art students build upon old work to create new pieces. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)

“I picked a piece that I really hated, and then I broke it,” art education major and fine art minor Amanda Intili said, “which was kind of really a crazy thing to do — to break something you made.”

She first broke her original piece, made from wood, and then put it back together. Then she created a sculpture to intentionally break so that she could put it back together in a new form, allowing her to create a sort of sculpture out of the pieces.

“That’s been really great because I have discovered this new process of breaking things and putting them back together, which I would have never done if I never thought of breaking the first piece,” Intili said. “And I am still doing that in my work now.”

Many spoke of their time in middle school as a true realization and starting point for their art career, although they recalled art being a major component in their life from as far back as they could remember.

The women said they find inspiration within personal experiences as well as through classmates, professors and contemporary artists, such as Kate Gilmore — a fine artist who will be coming to the College on Wednesday, Oct. 28.

Female artists discover their voices within the global art conversation. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)
Female artists discover their voices within the global art conversation. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)

“I’ve used drawing and painting to take whatever positive or negative experience I have in my life and make something out of that,” senior fine arts major Shannon Donaghy said.

As a class, the seniors spent about a week setting up the exhibit and developing the layout.

“We also had to plan where everything was going to go and the layout depending on our works and how they relate with each other and how they look together in the same room,” Donaghy said.

Intili said her philosophies are ingrained in her artwork.

“A big thing for me is what you leave behind, in life in general, that is something I really value,” Intili said. “Whether it is like interactions with people or anything, but for this it’s kind of like a remnant of a performance — so what’s left over after you break something, or you put it back together.”

The exhibition will be open to students and the public from Wednesday, Oct. 21, through Wednesday, Nov. 4. Exhibition hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12 p.m.- 7.p.m and Sundays 1 p.m.- 3 p.m.

When speaking about the art community and those outside of the community, Intili noted, “The negative stigma about being a fine art major is something in particular I wish didn’t exist — it’s hard work, just a different type of work.  I am not sure how many people view it as an easy major, but it is challenging.”


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