Artboard 1 apply Artboard 1 copy 2 Mount_Logo_Primary_RGB Mount_Logo_Primary_RGB give Artboard 1 copy 3 info link Mount_Logo_Primary_RGB Artboard 1 Artboard 2 Artboard 1 visit

Juried Exhibition Showcases Student Work

Nicole Patterson

Taylar Taylor feature

Student Taylar Terry's "Two Equal Beings: Virtue & Sin," featuring a found object, hydrocal plaster and rubber.

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents the juried Simon Gabriel Bruté Student Exhibition on display in the Williams Gallery in the Delaplaine Fine Arts Center from April 8 until April 23. The show features 33 paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations from 21 Mount student artists ranging from freshmen to seniors, art majors to non-majors and individuals who have exhibited before to those who have not. Each piece was created in various art classes during the past year and selected for inclusion in the exhibition by a panel of professionals. Themes from the year in quarantine include spirituality, nature, death and rebirth, sustainability, consumerism, politics and more.

“The Simon Gabriel Bruté Student Exhibition is an excellent opportunity for students to have their work selected and see it in the context of the gallery space,” said Nick Hutchings, M.F.A., chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and associate professor of art. “It helps to encourage and inspire many young artists in our program. Professor Elizabeth Holtry did a great job installing the work so there are unique connections and the pieces dialogue with one another.”

The exhibition is held annually and named in memory of The Right Rev. Simon Gabriel Bruté, who was instrumental in the Mount’s early years, coming to the then college in 1812 to teach divinity and philosophy. He also served as a spiritual director for the future saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Katie Creamer

katie-creamer_chair-.jpg“The concept of my piece represents the broken relationship between God and man after we turned away from Him during the fall,” said Katie Creamer, C’21, who has presented her work before. Two years ago, the art major showed at the Mount’s Earthworks exhibition. This year, one of her pieces is titled “Guiding Light.” She used a found chair, acrylic paint and light. Viewers can see the chair is burned and displayed upside down upon a fabricated white pedestal.

Upon close inspection, a light shines through the crack of the chair, which Creamer says symbolizes God’s grace through salvation. “With all of the horrific and devastating conflict going on in our world, I think we need to be reminded of the good and hold onto hope,” she added. Creamer says she could have gone one of two routes: focus on the negative of the crack in the chair or focus on the transformation that can result from the brokenness.

Samantha Highlands

samantha-highlands_burn-out.jpgSamantha Highlands is studying to earn her adult undergraduate degree in communication and fine arts and is currently employed as administrative assistant to the Departments of History, Political Science, Communication and English. She was nervous about taking a sculpture class, but Tito Okpalannaka, C’19, a graduate assistant, encouraged her to take Hutchings’ sculpture course. “I have two pieces in the show, which is still mind-blowing to me,” Highlands said.

Her first piece is titled “Burn Out” and is made with clay and wood. “It’s a representation of how exhausting my infertility journey has been. My husband and I have been trying for a child for six years. It represents my disappointment, exhaustion and damaged body.” she added.

samantha-highlands_shoddy-workmanship.jpgHer second piece is visually stunning. The piece is titled “Shoddy Workmanship” and is made with a found and reclaimed vase, clay, wire and epoxy. Viewers can see the inner workings of a broken vessel—blown apart, held together, and at certain angles, appears to be disconnected yet magically floating. Highlands says this project was emotional for her. “I have a rare neurological condition and I always feel like people with an illness that others can’t see deal with constant disbelief of others. We look OK on the outside, but we are barely holding it together most days,” she admitted. “Actual tears went into this project, mixed into the epoxy.”

The 33-year-old says she hasn’t taken an art class since middle school but hopes to encourage others to keep learning and push though circumstances and challenges.

Rachel Donohue

Rachel Donohue, C’21, a double major in communication and art with a minor in theology, has extensive experience exhibiting her work and the work of others. Earlier this semester, as part of her senior Honors Program project, she produced the juried group exhibition Distinct with the help of Professor of Art Elizabeth Holtry, M.F.A. The show explored themes of identity and diversity through race and gender.

rachel-donohue_pills.jpgDonohue’s piece in the current exhibition, titled “Deathbed,” shows three orange pill bottles filled with wads of cash and coins. She was inspired by the cost of getting or being sick, taking medications and paying insurance premiums. “I’ve come to realize the financial impact of getting sick—whether for a couple of days with the common cold or for a week in the hospital,” she explained. “This piece was intended to make the viewer reflect on life itself—how in terms of money, sustaining life could be considered a luxury.”

She stretched the canvas herself, a skill she learned in a painting course and explained a bit of her process to achieve such bold, dynamic colors. “For example, to deepen oranges, you add blue. To deepen reds, you add green. Oil painting is a form of chemistry—it’s all about building layers, thinnest to thickest, using paint thinner,” she explained. Donohue created the translucency of the pill bottle by adding an orange glaze of thinned orange paint.

Students who were viewing her work commented on how the work had an element of social awareness. “It’s important for my generation to recognize the frankly unethical costs and demands of the medical field and push back, for ourselves and our loved ones,” Donohue added.

Alex Ramirez, C’24, takes Hutchings’ art journal course and viewed the exhibit on opening day. “I thought the show was well organized and offered a wide range of works. All of the artwork was unique and kept my attention throughout the whole exhibit,” said the fine art and communication major.

“I thoroughly enjoyed viewing all the different pieces of art created by fellow Mount students,” said Paige Moseley, C’22, who is photography editor of The Mountain Echo and social media correspondent of the Mount’s Photography Club. “The true beauty, however, lies within the intricate details, so I would highly recommend to other students, faculty and staff to take a few minutes out of their day to admire these pieces up close.”

The Williams Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Nicole Patterson