Eja Bauer hosts first senior art show of semester

By Payton Clark, Arts Editor

Eja Bauer stands beside some of her artwork. / Preston Morris, The Bison 

Detailed landscapes, glowing portraits, Thai architecture and intricate carvings: stories of culture and passion for the world around us, all told through one senior art show.

This past Friday, senior art major Eja Bauer hosted her art show from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Art building. As all seniors have unique final exhibits to display, Bauer’s collection consisted of pieces inspired by her travels around the world.

Bauer’s show, “of People and Places,” represented her own experiences and ideas about the world around her.

“For me it’s a reminder of where I have been and how that shapes my view of the world,” Bauer said.

“Capturing personalities, culture and the beauty of places drives me to create works that reflect what I see.”

Using many of the methods of art taught through her classes at OBU, Bauer’s exhibit showcased multiple different art forms that reflected her passions of traveling and culture.

“My show features landscapes, figurative pieces including a series of iconography portraits and a collection of ceramic art,” Bauer said.

“As traveling and culture have been two big themes in my life, I find them weaving their way through my work.”

Painting and ceramics are Bauer’s favorite art forms.

“The vibrancy, smoothness and blending of paints makes them my favorite medium while I’m also enchanted by the three dimensional qualities of clay,” Bauer said in her official artist statement from the show.

Being a teacher of ceramics, assistant professor of art Julie Blackstone particularly enjoys the fact that Bauer’s show features so much pottery.

“You can see that Eja is comfortable working with clay, both on the potter’s wheel and off,” Blackstone said.

“Her sculptural pieces are favorites with many people who view the show, and if they only knew what it takes to accomplish those pieces.”

Blackstone believes that Bauer’s skill in multiple forms of art gives her show an advantage that others may not.

“Eja’s work is strong in many mediums, and I think that makes her show even more appealing, especially to the general viewing public, who tend to like variety,” Blackstone said.

As for those who attended her show or got to see her artwork, Bauer hopes people enjoy it and can learn from it.

“For the most part I want people to enjoy seeing the art in my show, as I greatly enjoyed making it,” Bauer said. “I do hope that my Iconography series will encourage people to think more about third world missions.”

Blackstone believes that Bauer’s travel experiences and her faith are shown through her artwork, particularly her iconography.

“You can see from the broad range of her work that she has an unusually mature Christian world view,” Blackstone said. “Her four ‘icon’ paintings are indicative of this.”

Portraying diverse groups of people through her own worldview lens is important to Bauer.

“The subject matter of the varied ‘people groups’ from across the globe is deeply meaningful to Eja’s faith, and hasn’t she done a lovely job of fulfilling her artist’s statement?” Blackstone said.

Like most students that go through the OBU art program, Bauer has been preparing and creating for many semesters.

“Since my second semester at OBU I have been thinking about my show and working hard to create works that I would be proud to have on display,” Bauer said.

Bauer’s experiences with creating art that was both familiar and new helped her to prepare for and learn from her final senior exhibit.

“An artistic process begins with an idea that is tested, stretched and transformed into something which has a life of its own,” Bauer said in her statement.

“Trying out new things is an important part of this process as I want to challenge myself to do better with each painting, sculpture or pot.”

Out of all of Bauer’s pieces, she particularly likes those with sentimental value from her past experiences.

“I have multiple favorites, [but] one of them is a view of Bangkok from the river,” Bauer said. “It’s nostalgic for me to see the Thai style buildings.”

Bauer has enjoyed her time in the OBU art program, even when it was full of stress and preparation.

“Working on my show has been a little nerve wracking as I am the first art show this semester,” Bauer said.

“I love the art program here, and have thoroughly enjoyed learning from my professors.”

According to Blackstone, Bauer was quick to decide what she wanted to do for her art show.

“I give them a certain amount of guidance regarding their set-up, design,” Blackstone said.

“Eja had a vision of what she wanted to accomplish early on, and she didn’t need much advice with regard to the selection of pieces to be included in her show.”

Bauer’s art show is unique in that it follows national guidelines for disabilities.

“I believe Eja’s show is probably the first to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines for museums and galleries,” Blackstone said.

“I’m urging all of our seniors to review those guidelines and follow those recommendations.”

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