White plastic hanging from the ceiling in the Samek Art Museum drew visitors in as they explored this year's Senior Student Art Exhibition. On the floor in front of this particular piece, a sign inviting guests to enter made the installation by Alec Rogers '17 an interactive one. Multiple plastic layers surrounded each person who went in, creating a world that could feel disorienting, reflecting the complexity of gender identity the artist wanted to convey.
This year's exhibition, Facades, was the culminating project for six members of the Class of 2017. The artists began developing their portfolios in the fall, meeting together in the Senior Projects in Studio Art class taught this year by Professor Tulu Bayar, art & art history. During the spring, they worked on their own and in consultation with one another and Bayar, preparing their work for the exhibition, as well as artist statements and snap talks.
They explored a variety of perspectives on what "facade" means — from society's expectations of beauty to social roles in small towns — and used a range of mediums, including oil, video, found objects, photography and screen printing, among others.
Learn more about each artist's work below.
Morgan Robison '17, markets, innovation & design
Robison's series, Beauty Worked, combines video, oil, canvas prints and mixed media. "Women in today's society are expected to groom in a certain way to deserve recognition," said Robison. "To look like this, you have to put in this time and you have to destroy your body in this way. The point of this installation is to really get at why these expectations exist in our society."
Summer Grenyion-Smith '17, studio art
Grenyion-Smith illustrated and published a comic book called Charades. Her work explores concealed emotions in daily interactions by focusing on a fictional character, Bailey, who lives with depression. "People suffering from depression, situational or clinical, hide it well, and it can be hard to identify someone that is suffering on the inside," Grenyion-Smith said. "The facade of ever-present well-being often manifests to keep those around them comfortable. My intention for this work is to encourage people who may be struggling with depression or dealing with misfortune to open up to people they trust and encourage viewers to make more efforts to care for the people around them."
Jade Klein '17, studio art
Klein's work, Visual Industry, uses a 3-D canvas to tell the story of small towns across the United States. Klein used found objects and materials from Lewisburg, to represent the area. "There is a rich history that lies within the walls and beneath the streets," said Klein. "The industries that bring people to Lewisburg create a cultural and socioeconomic divide affecting social roles. Visual references, translated through a lighthearted childlike medium, create multiple busy panels revealing the hectic nature of changing times and the various aspects that influence and have influenced the area in some way or another."
Emma Rieser '17, markets, innovation & design
Rieser's work reimagines the use of greeting cards by replacing pre-made messages with anonymous secrets collected from real people. Dis(card)ed takes a different approach to expose a subliminal world that is unfamiliar to us as viewers," said Rieser. "In our day-to-day lives we often lack the ability to know what lies beneath the facade that other people put outward to the world. Therefore, I aim to create an installation to help establish a sense of comradery and expose some of those things we all shy away from making public."
Alec Rogers '17, studio art
Partially funded by an Arts & Creativity Grant through the Bucknell Arts Council, Rogers' main installation includes a maze-like partition made from layers of plastic, which Rogers said he used to create a space that is emotionally disorienting for visitors. "My current works address the complexities of the gender binary, by exploring how gender is not only engrained in our minds, but also incorporated into many dimensions of our shared surroundings," Rogers said. "This installation highlights that non-cisgendered individuals are forced to make uncomfortable choices, within certain spaces to avoid further discomfort and potential harm."
Tessa Sarr '17, Italian studies and studio art
Sarr's series, Suspended Orbits of the Restless Mind, explores the juxtaposition between exterior versus interior emotions. "The intention is to address the visual disconnect between how people appear on the outside versus what is happening on the inside on an emotional, mental, or spiritual level," Sarr said. "Through the use of transparencies and a mix of painting, screen printing and photography, this visual investigation delves into the multifaceted and layered nature of the human mind as well as the process of healing over time."