On Friday, Feb. 14, three senior art majors hosted their theses in Cohen Center. Sheridan Davenport, Daniel Zalla and Mitch Tapia presented the culmination of their four years as art majors in three engaging and stimulating presentations. The focus of the thesis was for the three of them to gain exposure and present their theses, and to allow the students to create their own piece with minimal instruction from their professors. Not only were the three required to create several complicated works of art, but they were required to complete a paper detailing the project and how it relates to the topic they chose to present on.
Davenport’s exhibit was called “I; Identity, Image, Interactivity.” She portrayed a sense of communication and the importance of individuality as it relates to being a person of color “Basically my exhibit is an expression of what it means to be… a person of color, but just how you choose to identify as. How do you do it today and how is art a part of that” says Davenport. Characterized by screenprints and social media themed works of art, Davenport did a fantastic job of portraying that theme throughout the various media.
Zalla’s exhibit was equally intriguing as it was characterized by his own paintings. Named “Old Masters, Young Artist,” Zalla sought to exemplify the contrast between his drawings as a child and the talent he has now. All of his paintings incorporated drawings he made as a child and were themed after these drawings. These paintings were displayed with the childhood drawings right next to it. Perhaps the highlight of the exhibit was his painting of Xavier’s Jesuit Priests. The familiar faces of Father B and Father Graham were portrayed looking at a model solar system, with Father B holding a young Zalla’s drawing. The title of the piece was called “Wise Men.” “I am reflecting on the absolute freedom expressed in my drawings as a child and I am combining those childhood concepts and mark-making quality with classical figures and scenes,” Zalla said.
Tapia’s exhibit was an interactive piece that focused on humans’ ability to listen to each other. “My goal is to provide an experience that gets people thinking about easy, day-to-day solutions that they can live out on an individual scale,” says Tapia, describing his exhibit. The piece seeks to increase communication between people coming to view the exhibit and provoke thought on how we as humans communicate with each other.
Overall the theses were an impressive effort by three seniors who will undoubtedly have successful careers in their chosen fields. Being able to incorporate important themes into such interactive and stimulating art speaks volumes to the quality of Xavier’s Arts department, and I personally will make sure to keep looking out for what they have to offer.