This exhibit celebrates the artwork created by Scholars Program students enrolled in the Honors 2294 Creativity, Art and Culture class during the spring semester of 2021.
Throughout the semester students investigated and experimented with various art concepts and techniques acquired during a variety of hands-on studio production experiences. As a culminating experience, each student was asked to apply these studio discoveries to create an original work of art and write an accompanying artist's statement fulfilling the following requirements:
1) Express a unique idea or theme of the student’s choice.
2) Demonstrate a personal understanding and interpretation of the course content by incorporating the study of art philosophy, aesthetics, hands-on studio production,
subject matter form and content, metaphorical thought, history of art, and formal design (elements of art, principles of design, and compositional structure).
Much of the learning in this class took place through the study of creativity, art and culture in our own world via virtual visits to museum websites and viewing online arts resources. These formative experiences have directly influenced these young artists by offering them a depth and breadth of cultural understanding, which can be witnessed in the creativity and vast range of work that the students have created for this exhibit.
A sincere thank you is sent to Scholars Program Director Dr. Beth Vinkler, who enthusiastically supported and shared the vision of integrating cultural experiences, studio activities and a Scholars Program art exhibit to be viewed online at the Komechak Art Gallery Virtual Exhibitions site. Professor Vinkler’s ongoing encouragement, continual support and tireless work have enabled this vision to become a reality.
Additionally, special thanks are extended to Komechak Art Gallery curator Teresa Parker for inviting the Scholars to exhibit their art exhibit in the online Komechak Art Gallery Virtual Exhibitions site. Parker’s dedication and commitment to this art exhibit has enabled this Scholars exhibition to be viewed by many.
Also, sincere appreciation is expressed to Komechak Art Gallery Office Assistant Cathy Gaddis,
who generously offered her time and technical expertise to place the Scholars’ exhibit into
the online Komechak Art Gallery Virtual Exhibitions site.
Finally, I congratulate and thank my brave Scholars’ students. I am proud of their work and impressed by their positive attitude and enthusiasm for creating artworks to exhibit in the online Komechak Art Gallery Virtual Exhibitions site. It has been an exciting challenge for them, as most students have never before taken an art class or created a work of art, but they have created these works with a great sense of adventure, joy and discovery!
I am honored and privileged to work with these wonderful young adults and truly touched by their sincerity and sensitivity.
Jennifer Scavone, Senior Lecturer
Fine Arts Department
To protect our students, we are only using initials to identify the artist.
Title: The Past and the Present
Medium: Colored pencil on paper
The work of art I created depicts myself in a soccer jersey.
The medium I used to create this piece of artwork was colored pencil on paper.
On the left I drew my high school jersey, and on the right my college jersey.
Soccer has always played an important role in my life, and has shaped me to become the person I am today.
I wanted to create this work as a sort of tribute to my soccer career so far.
I have played soccer since I was around the age of five, however, these past couple years of
my soccer career have been the most memorable, which is why I decided to draw these
Another thing that I think is important to point out is the braided ponytail that I included in
this artwork. I have been wearing that hairstyle to play soccer ever since I was a freshman in high school, so I found it to be an important feature to include.
In a med this piece “The Past and the Present” since it represents my past soccer experiences through my high school jersey, and also my present soccer experiences through my college jersey.
My aesthetic experiences in soccer definitely shaped my artwork. When looking at this piece,
it brings up so many memorable moments that I will hold with me forever.
My artwork definitely is like a mirror.
It truly reflects who I am as a person.
Since soccer has had such a huge impact on my life, I find it fitting that this piece is
dedicated to the beautiful game.
Title: The Unknown
Media: Mixed media
My personal art philosophy is to go with the flow.
To paint what you feel the moment you are feeling it, and do it in the style that you wish to do it.
For me, Impressionism has always held a deep place in my heart since the moment I saw
Van Gogh’s Starry Night. That piece resonated with me and inspired me to try to create an experience just like it. I believe that my artwork is a mirror to my soul.
I express what I feel, and I paint it onto a canvas.
My role as an artist is like a sponge.
I absorb everything around me and channel it into emotion, then using that emotion,
I unleash everything that interested me that day onto a canvas.
I feel that the piece I created is like an onion, it has multiple layers and multiple meanings.
When I created my piece I used watercolor paint, paper for origami, sketched people
and added them to the canvas, used a feather, and a wood moose. I did this to create
different textures for my piece, which I felt was important.
I feel that the piece I created is abstract and representational.
The entire piece I created is like a metaphor.
My piece is a quilt full of different interpretations woven together in order to form
a more cohesive picture.
So, what you are you waiting for?
It is time to dive into the unknown and see my piece for yourself.
Title: Anna May Wong
Medium: Black charcoal pencil and a white charcoal pencil
My philosophy of art is to make sure that my artwork has a purpose, whether it be to bring awareness to a social issue or for self-fulfillment.
My aesthetic experience is a product of what I know about my Chinese heritage.
I was prompted to learn more about my heritage with the rise of hate crimes towards the
Asian-American community. I believe that it is my obligation to know the trials and tribulations my grandparents faced when immigrating to the United States.
I learned about Anna May Wong and believed that her presence in film was very monumental during her time.
My artwork is like a mirror, because it reflects what I feel is important to remember about
the upcoming of Asians in American society. As an artist, I want to use my talents to contribute to the Asian representation during this time of increased discrimination towards the Asian American community.
I consider myself a sponge, because I absorbed the information that I got from doing research about the history of Asians in the United States and I used my knowledge and talent to create a piece that I believe is important.
Also, my artwork is like an onion because the viewer must take the time to dive deeper and learn why Anna May Wong is an important Asian American icon. My use of metaphor is in
the choice of drawing Anna May Wong. Her presence in film paved the way for Asian representation during a time of racism and discrimination towards the Asian community.
Today, the Asian American community is facing the same sort of discrimination.
I admire Bisa Butler because the main goal of her work was to display the different
aspects of African American culture. She used her skill of quilting to put together portraits
of prominent African American figures.
First, I used a gridding technique to properly portion out the portrait.
Afterwards, I lightly sketched out the portrait and put in the major blocks of color.
I blended out the mid tones and started shading.
After the shading was complete, I added in detail with a black charcoal pencil and a
white charcoal pencil. I properly implied the presence of shadows and a light source
using value and shape.
The quality of the paper naturally brought texture into the piece when applying charcoal.
I used lines to replicate the detail on Anna May Wong’s outfit and bring out the highlights in
her hair. By using charcoal, I was able to incorporate the contrast between the darks and
the lights. My gridding technique helped me scale her body and her shadow to the right proportions. My art piece is symmetrically balanced.
Medium: Oil pastel
I used oil pastels, textured paper, and glitter for the final copy of my drawing, but throughout the entire process I used a lot of notebook pages to draft and experiment with colors.
This was my first time using oil pastels, so I began with no knowledge of technique or style. After Ms. Scavone gave me a crash course, I did my best to apply varying amounts of pressure, to layer colors according to the color wheel, and to create different textures to symbolize the different themes in the piece.
My drawing is a landscape that includes a lot of rainbows.
In the top half of the painting they boldly decorate the sky, while in the bottom half
they make a subtle appearance in puddles of iridescent gasoline.
The rainbows serve as a metaphor for the divine beauty that can be found in daily life.
We all hope that someday we’ll reach a place where all the colors are clear to see, but,
for now, we have to search for little traces of beauty and goodness on our commute to work.
I was inspired by what I learned about Rembrandt and his oil paintings.
I love the way his different textures make his work seem realistic and ethereal at the same time. I wanted to imitate that, so I used oil pastels as a sort of introduction to texture and oil media. The element of art I utilized the most, however, was color.
I tried to make the rainbows be the first thing that a viewer would see in the top half of the painting, and then tried to use the exact same colors in the other half of the painting to
convey the message that the same beauty can be found in the highs and the lows of life.
Title: "El Morro"
Medium: Colored pencil on paper
My artwork is based on a section of El Morro fort located in Puerto Rico.
The significance behind this being my inspiration is that I am Mexican and Puerto Rican,
and my culture has always been a huge part of my identity.
For my 15th birthday it is typical to have a quinceanera in the Latino culture, but, I was given
the option to take a trip instead and had chosen the location to be Puerto Rico.
I always felt connected to the Mexican side of my culture, but not as much to my Puerto Rican culture, so the goal was to connect more with that side, which I did. This artwork is actually based on a photo I took myself at El Morro, and it has been one of my favorite photos since
it is a part of a historical place in Puerto Rico.
This aesthetic experience has influenced my artwork.
With this being said, my artwork is like a mirror in many aspects.
It mirrors my identity, as this is a part of who I am culturally. It also mirrors Puerto Rico itself,
as this is an image that is popular when people think of Puerto Rico.
As an artist, I feel like my role is to see the beauty of everyday life.
Because of this, I do consider myself like a sponge as I am always retaining my surroundings and really enjoying the little things in life.
My artwork is somewhat like an onion.
It is a realistic piece but the message behind it is that El Morro fort is a huge symbol for
Puerto Rico, as the fort is a part of their history as an island. The main element of art used is line, as I had to create lines that made the center look like it is pushed back compared to the sides. I used color pencils to create this artwork which is simple, but, allows me to get the little details of the fort.
This is also an example of still life and landscape, as El Morro is a part of the landscape of Puerto Rico, and still life because El Morro is a building. El Morro is a light in Puerto Rico,
as it reminds people of the history of their island.
One of my favorite artists is Van Gogh, and he is my biggest inspiration when I create artwork because he always finds beauty in landscape and nature, and I am always looking at the beauty of nature.
For principles of design, unity was the focus, as I wanted to make El Morro, and the sky,
feel united. Symmetrical balance is what was used for this as I was trying to make the sides symmetrical with the middle.
Title: "2-Point perspective Bedroom"
Media: No.2 HB pencil on paper
When making art, my philosophy is: one should not necessarily strive for perfection,
rather for creativity and liberation.
My drawing depicts an interior 2-point perspective of my bedroom with my bed by the corner, the windows on the wall behind the bed, a vase table, and a vision board. The vision board has all the things that I aspire to achieve in the future.
My work is like a mirror, showing exactly what I, currently, have (such as a bed) and reflecting what I plan to achieve in the future.
For instance, the vision board by my bed reflects how in the future, I aspire to successfully get my bachelor’s degree, become a capable doctor, travel around the world, and simply, be happy.
The artist that I was inspired by to make my drawing is Vincent van Gogh and his painting titled "The Bedroom" in which he painted his own artworks on the wall. Van Gogh explained that his bedroom painting depicted a theme of relaxation and sleep.
Similarly, I drew my bedroom as a stress-free place with the blanket displaying the message to “dream big” and the vision board displaying my goals. This is why I consider myself like a sponge, trying to absorb techniques and ideas from other artists and displaying them with
my own creativity.
The compositional structure of my drawing has an asymmetrical balance.
I used the theory of diminishment when incorporating different elements of art and
principles of design.
I drew the lines in the foreground with more pencil pressure to make them darker and thicker. As they moved back into space, away from the foreground into the background and I drew the lines with less pencil pressure to make them lighter and thinner.
This was done to help create the illusion of space.
Moreover, I used contrast in the value scale: low-key values towards the foreground of
the picture and high-key values towards the background to create a 2-point perspective.
Overall, I used the pattern of lightness, darkness, and shading throughout my drawing to illustrate my dreams.
Media: Mixed media
Ever since I had picked up a pencil, I remember making it a personal goal to create
my own style of drawing; something that is familiar to the senses, instinctive, and unique.
It had been a bumpy journey, with frustrations upon more frustrations, art blocks, and
the want to tear some papers apart. But one day, be it age 14 or so, I remember thinking to myself, “The uglier the better. If you can see something in nothing, you have made art.”
I had eventually came across a few modern artists:
Takashi Murakami, Kaws, Alex Pardee, Junkyard, and Shintaro Kago
that had greatly inspired a dark abstract, surrealistic cartoon style. Much of their artwork
is splattered with colors, however the main component tends to take a darker turn.
I had spent much of my senior year of high school following in Junkyard’s path of black and white art, developing my own video-gamey characters, with patterns and textures made
with simple lines. Eventually I had started an art account on social media, and since then,
it had been a constant development of styles, ideas, metaphors, meanings, colors, and artistic intentions.
Overall, my drawings involve the mentality that “my hand just does what it does.”
Every pencil line, permanent marker lines, blended colors and color schemes, involve no prior planning, and it’s usually just feeling out the image/idea, and then transferring it onto the
paper however the body and mind deem correct.
With time, there had been a great transition, from simple black and white line work to more complex images, metaphorical ideas, spiritual involvement, and a greater understanding.
Incorporating animals, botanical aspects, and a special intensity on linework, I had created
a metamorphosis that only the internal you may feel and understand.
Inspire students, faculty, staff, audiences and artists in their pursuit and desire for learning, growth, and community and continue contributing to the body of knowledge in our field,
at our university, in our city, in our community, and in our society