WILSON, N.C. –The Barton Art Galleries at Barton College is pleased to announce the opening of “Unhinged,” the 2014 Senior Art Exhibition. The exhibition will be on view in Case Art Building from April 19 through May 6.

Gallery Talks by the student artists will be held on Tuesday, April 22, beginning 4 p.m., in the Barton Art Galleries. On Saturday evening, April 26, the student artists will be recognized with a reception from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. in the Barton Art Galleries. Both events will be open to the public at no charge, and the community is invited to attend.

Guests will enjoy a variety of works on view by 10 talented seniors: Nicole Achorn, Daniel Alkmim, Anna Blackwelder, Leslie Briley, April Dickens, Charlotte Hogrell, Kristopher Hutchins, Kaitlyn Anne Kosuda, Amber McDaniels, and Jonathan Daniel O’Neill. This year’s exhibition will feature a diverse display of media, including painting, photography, graphic design, drawing, ceramics, and textiles created by these gifted young artists.

Nicole Achorn

Achorn, a native of Chesapeake, Va., plans to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education with a concentration in drawing and painting.

Dreams were the focus of Achorn’s work. dreams. She explains that she is fascinated by how dreams accentuate fears, wants, needs, and ambitions. Her showcase incorporates painting and drawing, wood and glass, and textiles to interpret the subconscious self in the dream realm.

“Art is a type of therapy,” shares Achorn. “Emotions and thoughts can be translated through an art form, whether it be a painting, a drawing, or a photograph. Creating art helps me escape from reality and blocks the outside world from my mind, so that I may concentrate on my feelings and thoughts, as well as solve them.”

“She has a natural affinity for the oil paint,” explains Maureen O’Neill, visiting assistant professor and director of exhibitions and educational programming at Barton College. “Her style suggests a connection with the work of the Post-Impressionists like Vincent van Gogh. Nicole has taken this style and made it more personal, by using subject matter that relates to her life and experiences.”

After graduation, Achorn plans to seek a teaching position in art, and later pursue a Master of Science degree in Art Education.

Daniel Alkmim

A native of Rio d Janeiro, Brazil, Alkmim plans to graduate in December with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Graphic Design.

To find inspiration for his art, Alkmim draws upon his unique life experiences from North Carolina and Brazil. He wanted to explore these very different lifestyles, so he took his class project even further by creating an entire brand, “BRAERA.” Through the new concept, he hopes to create a clothing and accessory line.

“With ‘BRAERA,’ I want to show that the quality of our nights is the joy of our days,” Alkmim describes. “It is at night when our instincts surface, and we find what we really want. It is important to dress with style, but more importantly to undress with personality, forgetting what others think, and showing the world who we really are.”

“Alkmim brings an international side to his graphic marketing identity,” says Susan Fecho, professor and chair of Barton’s Department of Art and Design. “His current work involves traditional and technology techniques. The simple forms that vary in scale and combination hold power and offer special visual tension.”

Following graduation, Alkmim plans to find work with a design firm, and, one day, he hopes to own a company of his own.

Anna Blackwelder

A Wake Forest native, Blackwelder seeks a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Painting, and plans to graduate in December.

She shares a strong bond with her brother Jay, who serves in the United States Air Force. Stationed far away from North Carolina in Alaska, he is separated from his sister by great geographic distance. It was an emotional struggle that helped inspire much of her art.

“These paintings have become representational of bond, love, and triumph, rather than just an illustration of color theory and understanding of composition,” Blackwelder explains.

“Blackwelder’s contemporary paintings of oil on canvas seem to be inspired by the natural world,” says Fecho. “Her visual language contains strong colors and expressive brushwork that provide an awakening interest to the natural world’s beauty and its hostility.”

Blackwelder’s plans beyond graduation include graduate school and managing a gallery space, and perhaps opening a small business selling art supplies.

Leslie Briley

Briley, a native of Roxobel, plans to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Photography.

She uses a variety of media, including photography, drawing, and 2D and 3D collage, to capture everyday life in her hometown, which provides a continual theme and inspiration for much of her work.

“With the use of hand-drawn maps, artifacts, and my own artwork, I am highlighting the history and charm of not only Roxobel but of Bertie County as a whole,” shares Briley. “Even though I no longer live in Bertie County, it will always be a big influence on my life and my art.”

“Leslie has a keen interest in not merely being an artist, but also in communicating through her art,” says Gerard Lange, associate professor of art. “Projects she has completed over the past few years have become increasingly conceptual. Leslie’s mixed media installation about her home town of Roxobel demonstrates her interest in going beyond mere artistic representation and starting to synthesize art skills with intellectual research.”

Upon graduation, Briley plans stay in Wilson, where she will continue working and making art. She plans to consider graduate school as she continues to develop her portfolio.

April Dickens

Dickens, a native of Rocky Mount, plans to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Design.

Her senior showcase highlights a broad versatility in media, and includes approaches such as digital photography, drawing, and sculpture. Titled “Through the Eyes of Children,” Dickens captures the innocence of childhood. She shares that she expresses her mind and soul through her art, which allows her to connect with her work on an emotional level.

“The eyes of each child are the focal point of my compositions,” explains Dickens. “It invites audiences to connect with the subject. One of my roles as an artist is to create, reach, and teach. I would like audiences to see in my work my determination to serve the community and inspire children to be all that they can be!”

“April has a strong religious devotion and dedication to the education of young people that shines through her work,” says Lange. “Her photographs of children capture the spirit, energy, and individuality of youth itself.”

Upon graduation, Dickens hopes to secure a position with an art museum or gallery. She also plans to further her education and eventually become an elementary school art teacher.

Charlotte Hogrell

A Wilson native, Hogrell plans to graduate in May with Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education with a concentration in Photography.

Traditional methods of creating art rarely influence Hogrell. Indeed, she admits that she prefers to do things in a very non-traditional way. This may include using nails to paint, cotton swabs to draw, or shards of glass to glaze. Visitors can expect to see these unique approaches in her senior exhibit, which includes tempera paint, acrylic crayons and paint, ceramics, and photography.

“As I begin my teaching career, I plan to encourage my students to be non-traditional as well,” insists Hogrell. “I want them to think outside the box. I want them to push the limits they have on themselves or that others have placed upon them.”

“Hogrell’s Senior Exhibition work is based on her student teaching experience at Speight Middle School,” explains Mark Gordon, associate professor of art. “Students’ non-traditional line drawings are included in a multi-panel collaged installation. In assembling this artwork, Hogrell illustrates the effects of art instruction, in effect completing the cycle of inspiration and influence.”

After graduation, Hogrell plans to obtain a teaching position.

Kristopher Hutchins

Hutchins, who hails from Goldsboro, prepares to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communications.

With a strong interest in commercial art, Hutchins uses video and graphic design to promote “Educated Urbanite,” a publishing company he has worked with for two years. As an artist, he enjoys the challenges that come with exceeding client needs while remaining true to himself. He shares that art should captivate an audience without giving everything away.

“Placing emphasis on visual composition and color selection, I give the audience enough information to please the eye, while leaving the mind curious and ready to examine every part of the imagery before them,” Hutchins explains.

“Kris is not afraid to take risks and push the envelope with his work, and his innate creativity is enhanced by his ability and willingness to create art in a multi-media environment,” says Webster Struthers, associate professor of communications.

Following graduation, Hutchins plans to pursue a career in graphic design and video production.

Kaitlyn Kosuda

A native of Goldsboro, Kosuda plans to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Photography and a minor in Gallery/Collection Studies.

Nature is a major and inspiring theme in Kosuda’s work, and visitors to her senior exhibition will have plenty of opportunities to witness that inspiration. Her showcase includes 60 digital photographs and eight digitally modified vintage photos.

“My passion for photography comes from and started with nature,” says Kosuda. “I want the viewer to feel a connection with my artwork and relate to my passions. With a controlled chaos sense of nature, the installation will spark interest, yet be joined together with a unique artistic style. My goals as an artist are to create what I envision and do the best I can with no regrets.”

“Through her studies at Barton, Kaitlyn has discovered a love of galleries and museums that goes beyond the making of art,” shares Lange. “Her career goals now include exploring an advanced degree in museum studies. This interest is seen in her unique approach to the display of works in her senior exhibition.”

With graduation near, Kosuda hopes to secure an admissions position in the field of education.

Amber McDaniels

A native of Wilson, McDaniels seeks a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Photography, and plans to graduate in December.

Passionate about the human experience and what she calls “undefined” photography, McDaniels explores new and innovative ways to portray the artistic images she captures. She blends digital photography with paint, scanned and collaged images, using graphics editing software like Adobe Photoshop.

“I have intentionally practiced many different genres of photography and experimented with many different mediums to create layered images,” McDaniels explains. “My goal is to tell the stories of my own experiences as well as those of the people I’ve connected with throughout my journey as a photographer. My hope is for people to linger a few moments when viewing these images and develop a connection of their own.”

Upon graduation, McDaniels plans to embark on a career in the field of visual communication, and one day further her studies at the graduate level.

Jonathan Daniel O’Neill

O’Neill hails from Four Oaks and plans to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Photography.  O’Neill’s work focuses on digital photography and portraiture, and he is particularly interested in commercial photography.

“Interested in becoming a professional photographer, Daniel has not only taken all the photography classes available in his field, but has also extended his education through specialized workshops,” Lange notes. “Regarding his images, Daniel’s keen eye for lighting design is matched by his attention to detail when working in color.”

Following graduation, he hopes to find a photography position with a newspaper, a printing company, or possibly work with an established professional photographer in the area.

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