WILSON, N.C. – A remarkable collection of student work in the 2013 Barton College Senior Art Exhibition will be on view in the Barton Art Galleries in Case Art Building on the campus of Barton College from April 20 through May 7.  A reception to introduce these students and their work to the community will be held on Saturday, April 20 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Artist talks will be held earlier on Saturday afternoon in the Barton Art Galleries from 2-4 p.m. Both events are open to the public at no charge, and the community is invited to attend.

The Barton Art Galleries will host seven exhibits showcasing the works of Jorge Aguilera, Brianna Frazier, Hannah Cannon, Drew Maddox, Renee Moore, Gregory Oakley, and Michelle Perez. These burgeoning artists will present works of photography, painting, digital art, drawing, and ceramics.

Jorge Aguilera, of Durham, plans to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art and Design and a concentration in Painting. Using the tag name of Ayech Wells for his art, he shares, “The works of great masters, in all mediums, stir my soul and inspire me to create. Early in my life, I was amazed by the works in Leonardo da Vinci’s sketch book. And, the urban graffiti style has strongly influenced my mark-making and coloration choices. The Pop and Rock imagery from the 70′s 80′s, and even today’s mainstream music and rap, have influenced my imagery. As a skateboarder, I am always influenced to make 2D and 4D art using a camera. My current work is heavily influenced by my desire to use all the mediums I can, to create a central focus on what’s going on in my head. I am trying to integrate different mediums and ideas to create a collective body of work that knows no boundaries, in a mission to reach a broad audience as a form of advertisement and entertainment. I have a desire to entertain people with the different things I create, much as many artists from da Vinci to Banski and Bob Marley to Lil Wayne have provided me with entertainment.”

“Jorge Auilera’s work reveals itself through an exothermic internal reaction to his environment,” explains Ben Bridgers, associate professor of art. “This is followed by rapid immersion and self heating with whatever materials he can muster up. Then, finally, ignition.  His studio result is like that of harmonious and poetic spontaneous combustion.”

Brianna Frazier, of Wilson, plans to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in in Studio Art with a concentration in Photography. “It has become apparent to me that you don’t always have to travel very far in order to find a story that needs to be told,” shared Frazier. “Being from the small town of Manchester, Ga., and spending the majority of my life in Wilson, have both influenced my artistic style greatly. I enjoy photographing and making art based on things that remind me of these areas. Many of my pieces tend to have a story behind them that I attempt to show through the art. Over time, I have become interested in photographing damage from major storms to better demonstrate how much of an impact they have created in rural communities.”

Frazier has also become interested in mediums other than photography since she has begun to explore printmaking and collage work. “The thing that links these different ways of working together is my use of texture,” she adds. “The element of texture appears in many of my pieces in several different ways, whether it be in the photograph of an forgotten barn, the ink of a printmaking piece, or even in layers of a collage-journal spread.”

Gerard Lange, associate professor of art, describes Brianna Frazier as a serious artist with a keen sense of how lighting affects the emotional quality of an image, as well as an astute understanding of visual narrative. He adds, “Beyond her skills with a camera, she also exhibits a strong sense of professionalism that shows great promise towards her future as a photographer.”

Hannah Cannon hails from Henderson and plans to graduate in December with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education. “The natural world is not only important to our existence, but it also defines our basic understanding of what is considered to be beautiful,” Cannon explains. “My artwork is grounded in expressing the representation of beauty found in nature. I work to capture the simplicity and forgotten beauty of natural elements while exploring the relationship between man and nature. My painting and drawings capture the essence and beauty of organic forms using sensitive and delicate lines. Botanical forms have become a common subject used in my work. Experimenting with the use of space in my compositions allows me to emphasize the beauty of one or several elements found in nature such flowers, bones, and trees. Sometimes my compositional designs are very simple which allows my subject matter to speak for itself.

“Recently, I’ve been exploring the art of printmaking, particularly the technique of intaglio,” Cannon adds. “Intaglio allows me to achieve the sensitive and delicate lines used in my drawings. I have developed an appreciation for the tedious and time-consuming process that goes into creating this type of work.”

Susan Fecho, professor of art and chair of the Department of Art and Design, shares, “Hannah Cannon’s controlled and rich detailed works are purely a visual experience. Influenced by traditional botanical illustrations, large leafless trees stand dark against winter skies. The inclusion of chine-collé collage provides a contemporary twist to her floral forms.”

Drew Maddox, of Wilson, plans to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communications.

“Commercial design and marketing are the fields with which I best express and relate my unique ideas,” Maddox explains. “The message has always been sacred to me. By careful use of fonts, illustrations, and subtle colors, I communicate the message of a company or product through an effective understanding of the target audience. Compelling visual communication in media and art is the driving force behind my inspiration. I want to discover and bring into light that message in such a way the audience is both inspired and provoked to look deeper into the meaning of the design. In the area of commercial design, this means the audience thinks twice about supporting a brand or purchasing a product.

“With a six year background in the sign industry, I began my career creating logos and creative signage for local area businesses and corporations both in Eastern North Carolina and North Central Florida,” Maddox adds. “This experience has given me a unique perspective to understand what businesses, products and services need to be successful. No business or product can stand on its own. It needs quality creative marketing to engage the audience. My passion is the creation of that creative marketing.”

“Drew Maddox’s design style and typography sensibilities are geometric, aesthetically simple and clutter-free,” Fecho explains. “His ‘less is more’ minimalism provides a modern and universally appreciated style that supports his client driven work. I also appreciate Maddox’s ability to transfer this sensibility to other disciplines such as video and three dimensional work.”

Renee Moore is from Stantonsburg and plans to graduate in December with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art and Design with a concentration in Ceramics. “Using a variety of materials, my interests seem to always meet at a place where clay and cloth collide,” Moore shares. “Texture, represented both physically and visually, is a strong force in my work evident in the use of repurposed materials. The organic flow expresses a biomorphic quality and is generally domestic and feminine in nature. Pieces come together in a unified manner with each part being significant but greater as a whole. Growing up in Eastern North Carolina, surrounded by countless pine trees and wooded areas, has greatly influenced my creative voice. My sculptural body of work incorporates puzzles and abstract forms of repeated patterns and multiples resulting in an “en masse” style. These results are often biomorphic forms reminiscent of naturally occurring shapes and patterns with similar features to the works of Henry Moore and Jean Arp. The physical attributes of repetition and multiples echo the earth as observed through the trees of the forest, stars of the sky and rocks in a quarry.”

Reflecting on the artist and her work, Fecho adds, “Focusing on structures, materials and objects, Renee Moore presents large and small works that combine into an environment. Familiar yet disparate elements of wood, ceramics, and fabric merge to connect the viewer to memories of home and youth, while providing a pathway to understanding a personal and challenging message on life.”

Gregory Oakley hails from Manteo and plans to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art and Design with a concentration in Photography. A lifelong passion for Oakley, he tends to focus his photography on landscapes and portraiture. “A landscape is timeless; it sparks an awe-inspiring emotion with which everyone can relate,” he explains. “My landscapes are always done in the darkroom using black and white film. Ansel Adams is a big influence in my work; his tonal value and composition make for breathtaking photographs. Unlike my black and white film photographs, my portraits are done with a digital camera using high contrast and high color saturation. Texture and the juxtaposition of darks and lights are important in both my landscapes and portraits. My portraits are comprised mostly of friends because they are such a big part of my life, and the high contrast and high saturation of color express emotions felt when I am with these people.”

Mark Gordon, associate professor of art, shares, “Greg Oakley has an artist’s eye for capturing the confluence of myriad detail found in natural settings. His editing highlights the poignant emotion underlying these selected outdoor scenes, translating and transforming the settings through the camera’s lens. Greg’s images, each richly evocative, serve to record and interpret, to capture and dramatically freeze a glimpsed landscape. His photographs become startlingly ‘present’ for the viewer—and unforgettable. In a way, his black and white filmed landscapes are portraits of an idyllic and charged instant in time and place. In a parallel series, Greg’s color portraits of his college friends draw us in with their directness, drama, and evocative mystery.”

Michelle Perez, of Wilson, is planning to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art and Design with a concentration in Photography. Perez explains, “My thirst for a story is what drives me to create art.  It is my personal belief that some of our deepest feelings are impossible to articulate, so I turn to a visual language to help me communicate these feelings.  I use art as a tool to help me understand myself and the world around me.  Chance and exploration are important elements that I try to incorporate in my work.  I also love to explore new mediums and believe that one should never stop seeking innovative and creative ways to apply those mediums.  I believe art is fun and therapeutic and that it should not be taken so seriously.  Make mistakes, get messy. Have fun.”

Speaking about the work Perez creates, Fecho observes, “Exquisite textures of peeling paint and scratched surfaces are presented in translucent layers that adds mystery to Michelle Perez’s digital images. These vintage-styled portraits, with their tangled layers, invites interpretation and manages to deliver fragile thoughts associated with family, love and beauty.”

The Barton Art Galleries, including the Virginia Thompson Graves Gallery and the Lula E. Rackley Gallery, are located in the Case Art Building, at the corner of Gold Street and Whitehead Avenue on the campus of Barton College. The Barton Art Galleries are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

For additional information about the art exhibition, please contact Susan Fecho, chair of the Department of Art and Design, at 252-399-6480 or sfecho@barton.edu, or Bonnie LoSchiavo in the Barton Art Galleries at 252-399-6477 or blloschiavo@barton.edu.

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