Art Show: 2015 Senior Art Exhibition Opens at Barton April 20

WILSON, N.C. – April 13, 2015 — Barton College is pleased to announce the opening of “Art Show,” the 2015 Senior Art Exhibition. This showcase opens to the public on Monday, April 20, at the Barton Art Galleries in Case Art Building, and runs through Monday, May 11.

Guests will enjoy a variety of works on display by nine talented senior artists: Brooke Allen, Stephanie Barsanti, Michael Farrar, Tyler Freedman, Taylor Hernandez, Teresa Hilton, Brenda Ramirez, Elizabeth Salyers, and Morgan Stancil. This year’s exhibition features a diverse display of media, including painting, photography, graphic design, drawing, and ceramics created by these gifted young artists.

On Saturday, April 25, the senior artists will be recognized with a reception from 6-8 p.m. in the Barton Art Galleries. Guests will have another chance to meet these artists at “Gallery Talks” on Thursday, April 30, beginning at 3:50 p.m., also in the Barton Art Galleries. Both of these events, along with the exhibition itself, are open to the public at no charge, and the community is encouraged to attend.

Brooke Allen

A native of Louisburg, Allen plans to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Graphic Design.

A strong graphic design portfolio is the focus of Allen’s work. She incorporates many different elements of graphic design, such as package, website, and poster design.

“Art allows a person to show who they are and express any emotions that they have,” shares Allen. “It gives them a chance to free their minds and escape into a world of their own.”

“Brooke approaches creative design in a direct and intuitive manner while striving for essential, honest and creative compositions,” explains Susan Fecho, professor and chair of Barton College’s Department of Art and Design.

After graduation, Allen plans to work with a design firm, pursue a degree at a graduate school in North Carolina, and, perhaps, one day own a business of her own.

Stephanie Barsanti

Barsanti, a native of Duck in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, prepares to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in photography.

She has developed a new series that reflects her thoughts about bullying; these artistic images utilize staged and monoprint photographic techniques. She also uses certain effects, such as solarisation and Expressionism, in her photographs with the use of makeup and acrylic paint.

“I want my photographs to reach out to those who were victims of bullying and let them know that they are not alone.” Barsanti explains. “I have been down that road before, and it was not fun. Now, I want to show how I felt in the past in comparison to now, and, hopefully, everyone can be inspired by what I am trying to get across with my photographs.”

“Stephanie has a keen interest in experimental periods during the history of photography,” shares Gerard Lange, associate professor of art. “Referencing artists like Man Ray and Andy Warhol, her work challenges how images are represented, creating new meanings open to interpretation.”

After graduation, Barsanti hopes to become an assistant for an established photographer, and then branch out on her own in the future.

Michael Farrar

Farrar, a Rocky Mount native, is a songwriter, singer, and artist. He is a skilled vocalist who began writing and recording music at age 17. By the age of 24, Farrar had released four bodies of work. He was steeped in music throughout his childhood, predominantly by his father, and soon developed an interest in art and design. Farrar is creatively inclined in many mediums but leans toward painting and drawing.

“In my earliest years,” he shares, “I drew inspiration from graphic novels and character design, and later cultivated a passion for clothing design. Artistically, I believe in the power of the imagination and the ability to endlessly create without hesitation.”

Farrar’s themes in art mainly consist of subjects regarding beauty and humanism with undertones of race and non-traditional African American culture. Very much inspired by pop culture, Farrar’s artistry is highly versatile, ever changing and evolving, while still maintaining the essential themes of his work. In addition to visual art, he enjoys producing music.

“Michael is a gifted draftsman with an innate affinity in drawing and painting,” says John Morris, visiting professor of art.

He is not only driven by the will to express inner emotional feeling, but also by the passion to touch other people, both musically and artistically.

Tyler Freedman

Freedman, who hails from Kenly, plans to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art.

At a young age, Freedman knew that he wanted to be involved in art, and he pursued every opportunity to accomplish a life in this discipline. In 2011, after graduating from North Johnston High School, he attended Johnston Community College to complete an Associate in Fine Arts degree. He transferred to Barton College in fall 2013.

Freedman’s art is largely based on the minimalist style. He seeks to incorporate a classic art style in a format that makes it fun for everyone.

“I want to take minimalism, an art style that was most prevalent from the 1950s to the 1970s, and develop designs so that my audience can appreciate and enjoy the style and the subjects in my show,” Freedman explains.

Offering insight into Freedman’s art style, Fecho notes, “While developing his visual communication design skills, Tyler discovered a love for ‘less-is-more.’ His posters artfully combine typography, visual arts imagery, and composition.”

Following graduation, Freedman plans to join his father in his sport auction software business as an associate graphic designer, working with lead designer Jason Cooke. As his portfolio develops, Freedman plans to branch out as a freelance graphic designer and offer such services as web design, graphic design, and illustration, all skills he learned from various faculty at Barton College.

Taylor Hernandez

Hailing from Jacksonville, Hernandez prepares to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Arts.

Her senior showcase highlights a broad versatility in media, including works in painting, ceramics/sculpture, and photography. A strong bond with family, living and deceased, allows her to connect with them and her work on an emotional level.

“I don’t make art because I have to; I make art because I want to,” Hernandez explains. “Art is one of the forms of expression that I use to connect to people and things; my family is a great example for this. Some of the work I have made has helped me spiritually connect with my grandfather, whom I never met.”

“In the ceramics, photography, and paintings by Taylor, there is emphasis on shape,” shares Maureen O’Neill, visiting assistant professor, and director of exhibitions and educational programming at the Barton Art Galleries. “Large, blocky, weighty shapes occupy the spaces and forms in each medium. She brings this work to life with subject matter that relates to objects and people observed, as well as memories of family life.”

Upon graduation, Hernandez plans to stay in Jacksonville, where she will continue working and creating art. She plans to consider graduate school as she develops her portfolio. She is also interested in pursuing a biology degree in the future.

Teresa Hilton

A native of Rocky Mount, Hilton has enjoyed the pursuit of photography for almost seven years. Her strong focus on nature and animals gives viewers a glance into her own world.

“Currently, I am focusing on macro photography, which brings focus onto the smaller details commonly missed by the human eye,” she shares. “My subjects for these photographs are dogs and horses, two species of animals that have always had my heart. It is through my photography that I welcome people into my world, and let them see my passion for animals. The use of different angles and perspectives, as well as the focus on details such as paw pads and hooves, allows me to showcase features of these amazing animals that people pass by in everyday life.”

“The optical illusions of Teresa’s macro photography reveals details of her personal world, one filled with beloved southern landscapes and furry friends captured to intrigue and delight viewers,” remarks Fecho.

Brenda Ramirez

A native of Lima, Peru, Ramirez plans to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Graphic Design.

She finds inspiration in nature, and in her life in the United States and childhood in Peru.

For her senior show, Ramirez showcases a variety of media, including drawing and painting, and how she incorporates these into her graphic art.

“Inspired by nature, I am using a series of my own drawings of flowers and integrated into products for my company called ‘Infinite Love,’” she explains. “With this company, I am introducing my own designs of wedding stationery, wedding favors, and other wedding décor. My goal is to create designs that are not only visually appealing, but also unique.”

“With the natural world as her muse, Brenda has developed a style utilizing sophisticated illustrations in subtle hues on elegant neutral backgrounds,” says Fecho.

Following graduation, she hopes to find a job in the design while furthering her education, and eventually managing her own company.

Elizabeth Salyers

Salyers was born and raised in a military family, where she was fortunate to live in a number of locations across the United States as well as in Okinawa, Japan. Now, Salyers calls New Bern home, and she plans to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art with a minor in Drawing.

Combining a passion for art and a love for animals, Salyers uses graphite pencils to bring two-dimensional drawings to life, using a combination of loose and controlled lines.

“I always thought of it as magic to make the drawing look lifelike,” she explains. “By simply using a reference photo, graphite pencils, and paper, I can allow my viewers to explore portraits of the animals. This is accomplished not only through realism, but also through the lines and values used in the picture. The lines help lead the viewer’s eye in and out of the main focus, giving an experience that forms a realistic image of the animal.”

“In her series of highly detailed graphite drawings, Lizzie brings together a love of nature with a love of drawing,” explains O’Neill. “These large-scale representational drawings of birds have exquisitely drawn feathered wings, combined with large areas of textured mark making. It is beautiful work and upon close inspection, one notices the artist’s ability to control the graphite; areas of sensitive stretches in value, from lightest gray to dark, with a beautiful line that describes the forms without overworking the details.”

After graduation, Salyers plans to move to the West Coast, where she intends to work with local arts councils and teach art lessons, and later pursue a graduate degree in art education.

Morgan Stancil

Stancil, a native of Wilson, is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Painting. Stancil works predominantly in painting and drawing with a strong focus on form, as depicted in her most recent work. This series uses a combination of generalized shapes and gestural lines to portray an abstracted view of her idea of storms.

“Morgan’s painting and drawings reveal a love of form, line, and energy,” shares O’Neill. “This new series of work, although in its early stages, is becoming a vehicle for this young artist to express her ideas about life’s temperance and fragility. These drawings indicate an interest in the dynamic energy of a storm as it navigates across terrain, and, in this instance, as it navigates across the personal and universal. This will most definitely lead to more mature work in the future.”

Stancil’s large-scale drawings of theses masses of shapes are accented with the building of small, delicate lines, which add a sense of softness to the boldness.

The Barton Art Galleries are open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, please contact Fecho at (252) 399-6480 or, or O’Neill at (252) 399-6477 or