From the studio to the gallery Senior art students display comprehensive projects in theses exhibition

By: Katherine Colborn

If you are interested in fine food, fine music and fine art, the Xavier University Department of Art will be providing an opportunity to enjoy all three at once.

This Friday, three of Xavier’s seniors will be showing their work and hosting a reception with the Xavier University Art Gallery in the A.B. Cohen Center.

Carly Renner, one of the students showcasing her work, described the importance of this night for her and her fellow students.

“A senior thesis is a show to exhibit everything we’ve learned since (beginning at Xavier),” Renner said.

“We’ve been preparing for this time since our freshman year, formulating our thoughts and ideas and narrowing it down to one main thing, to define ourselves as a person and an artist.”

“My show is titled ‘ArMOR.’ I’m doing a series of ceramic vessels and each one of them shows a different protective manifestation that an animal uses to protect themselves against predators, and I’m using the animal as an analogy to represent the human appearance,” Renner said.

“For example, how a person might dress could be an example of how someone could avoid or approach confrontation with others. I feel like some people use the way they dress to present themselves as a protective manifestation just as animals do. I use the beetle, the porcupine, the wasp nest, the turtle shell and the armadillo shell (as inspirations).”

Renner’s project is inspired by deeply personal experiences. She describes her own work as if it were an extension of her own psyche rather than spiky vessels and glossy ceramic beetles.

“If I’m feeling sad, I still put on my makeup so I don’t have to deal with people’s confrontation about (my feelings).” In high school, Renner suffered from anorexia.

“No one knew because of the way I presented myself,” she said. “I would dress a certain way or put on a show so that (people) wouldn’t know, or wear certain clothes so that they didn’t know how skinny I was.”

For most seniors in the art department, the process of creating, developing and showing the entire thesis project takes at least a year to complete.

The seniors are required to present their proposed projects to the art department faculty early in the fall semester and spend the rest of their year working until their exhibition show in the spring semester.

In this case, all the students have been working for well over a year, and have a large amount of work to show for it.

The exhibition will feature Renner’s series of ceramic vessels and animals, “ArMOR.”

The exhibition also features Matt Maloney’s series of dynamic woodcut prints and sculpturelike paintings, titled “Tenebrific Stagger” and Jamie DeFazzio’s fibers works, titled “Mixed Media.” The reception for the show will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday evening in the Xavier University Art Gallery in Cohen.

Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be provided, and Eli Bedel, a young local musician, will be entertaining the guests with fiddle and banjo music throughout the evening as well.

The show will be open to the public in the Xavier University Art Gallery 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, until Dec.13.