Graphic design student present senior art show

By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor

Spring is a busy time of year in the OBU art building, as many senior students present their final art show.

This month senior graphic design major Matthew Giudice II’s art show is on display in the building’s gallery April 13-25.

Initially, many of the works in the show might seem simplistic, however, many of the pieces in the show carry a magnetism hidden in them that draws and keeps the viewer’s attention.

According to Giudice II’s artist statement, “I am always striving to portray all things through my lens in their most positive light. […] I use my camera as a means to learn about the world and the people around me.”

These little insightful hints at the nature of subjects, gives Giudice’s work its compelling depth.

The show poses a clear contrast with the other shows that have been recently displayed in the building, with its darker, bolder color scheme and emphasis on photographic work.

Giudice II has been a photography enthusiast long before his time at OBU. According to Giudice, “I have always had an interest in photography. Any family trips we took I always brought a camera and made sure I took plenty of photos.”

Across from his artist’s statement, a collection of nature photography is shown.

This collection includes two works – “Sunflower” and “Leaf” – close-ups of simple golden plant life, they are brought out from their backdrop through camera focus, leaving the green nature that surrounds each work’s subject in a haze of green, brown and pale blue-grey.

In the next room, however, Giudice’s artwork truly comes into its own. Here his photography showcases his use of negative space.

The silhouette work of “DNA Picasso” on one side presents the shadowy figure of a person against a white backdrop, and in the other neighboring image by the same title, a similar figure can be seen – however, this greyscale image contrasts the light striking the subjects face with surrounding darkness.

Nearby, Giudice’s “Luke Garner” photography captures the movement of a motorcycle rider in black and white panning photography.

The streaked back-ground of the image permeates the sense of movement in the photo.

While these works feature the contrast of black against white, other works play with the contrast of color – especially red-oranges – against darkness.

“Luke Garner Silhouette” places the black outline of a motorcycle rider against a blazing orange sky.

This darkness that permeates much of the artwork, draws the eye instantly to a few sparse features that leap outward from the plainness of the backgrounds.

In “Strange” spirals of brilliant golden light show against a black background, while “Colorado Sunset” displays a lowering sun outlining a few sparse colds in liquid gold as orange light floods over grey hills.

Sprinkled amidst these works are several sports action photos, shot with a skill that suggests his preference for sports.

“My main focus is in flash photography and sports,” reads his artist statement.

Several of these sports images are also shot as brilliant full-color figures against a black backdrop, returning the pattern of negative space visible throughout the show. Yet while the display emphasizes Giudice’s digital photography work, it does not limit itself solely to photography. An example of his graphic design work can be seen in a packaging mock-up titled “Aunt Ginger.”

Nearby on a table in the center of the gallery, examples of Giudice’s screen printing skills can be seen beneath several samples of his film photography.

On another wall, a painted portrait can be seen, that captures with loving detail “Mr. G” in the form of oil on canvas.

Throughout his senior show, Giudice’s sparse and selective use of color controls the viewer’s focus, and creates a sense of energy and vibrancy that engages viewers imagination.

In his artist statement he wrote, “I hope you enjoyed it and feel inspired.”

This show is certainly one that viewers will leave full of energy and perhaps a little inspiration.

“Inspired by many: art show by Hailey Black”

By Olivianna Calmes, Assistant Arts Editor

Oklahoma Baptist University has another senior art exhibit coming up. Shawnee’s own senior art major and education minor Hailey Black will be showcasing her art this month. The art will be up from the 9th to the 28th.

“I aspire to someday become an art teacher in order to combine my passions of both art and teaching students,” Black said.

Her passion for art has been fueled by numerous people in her art.

“I am extremely grateful for my high school teachers, college professors, my husband, friends, parents, and family, [all] who have encouraged me and invested in me throughout the years,” she said. “My art professors have taught me so much over the last four years, and I have grown tremendously as an artist. I have definitely been inspired by each of them.”

The art professors at OBU are a mix of talented individuals who each have a wonderful portfolio of their own. Senior art students have freedom with their art shows and can choose a medium or theme for their show.

“There is not necessarily a theme for my senior art show,” Black said. “However, I am interested in several different art mediums and techniques, and my show will display that. My art show will feature paintings, charcoal drawings, pottery, weavings, stained glass, mosaics, and macramé.”

Her pieces were influenced by a number of artists with various tastes.

“One of my drawings was inspired by Georges de La Tour and Rembrandt, while another piece was inspired by Claude Monet, etc.,” Black said. “It is hard to strongly see the influence of certain artists in my show, because I have been influenced and inspired by so many.”

Black’s art will also show a variety of mediums, techniques, and forms. She said that she cannot pick a favorite medium, that is why there will be a variance in her show. One example of her work includes her art show advertisement that can be seen around campus, which is illustrated with a photo and text made to look like stained glass.

In terms of the future, Black already has plans. Black will still be exploring art and the different ways to produce and fine tune it even after graduation.

“I am open to teaching art in different settings; such as, a school, camp, personal classes in my home, etc.” she said. “I am still praying for God to open these doors for me. I also plan to continue to make my own art on the side.”

She feels that she’s learned more than just art techniques at OBU because of the art professors.

“I have learned much more about who I am as a person and an artist,” she said. “I have grown tremendously, and I have become a better artist. I have developed more passions for new areas in art, and I have developed new skills. I’m incredibly grateful for my professors who have taught me new techniques, have encouraged, supported me, have given me proper feedback, have pushed me as an artist, and more. I know that if it weren’t for my professors, my senior show would be much different.”

Senior art shows are very important to an art degree at OBU, and it is interesting to see how each senior shine through their different art styles. Black says that OBU also showed her how to show God through her art to bring Him glory.

“In addition, OBU has helped me combine my art studies with my Christian worldview,” Black said. “I know that God is the ultimate creator, and I believe that art can reflect him.”

Senior show displays different aspects of art

By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor

“My show I hope proves that graphic art and graphic design is not boring commercial art work,” senior graphic design major Caleb Cole said.

Cole presented his senior art show at a reception February 16, 6:00-8:00 p.m. The show will remain on display through March 17 in Oklahoma Baptist University’s Art Building.

Although the show displays the range of Cole’s artwork while a student at OBU –including paintings and drawings – it heavily features his graphic artwork.

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“My show will have commercial art, it will have graphic art, and the difference between when I say graphic design and graphic art [is]: I do have some pieces that are made on a digital platform, but they’re just [graphic] artwork, they don’t serve a commercial purpose at all,” Cole said.

On the other hand, his graphic design work is specifically intended to market or sell a certain item.

One example of this work can be seen on the front of this newspaper, in the form of The Bison’s Masthead logo, which Cole created for a competition the Bison held several years ago.

“Since I’m a graphic design major most of my work will actually be brands and visual identities – so like logos and style guides and promotional posters – which I think is still an art form even though it’s more commercial art, it’s not like high art like oil painting or charcoal,” he said.

However, the commercial aspect of the work will not diminish the final art show.

“The process is still the same, it’ll still fill up a gallery space and look like an exhibit,” he said.

Instead, graphic design art shows can invite viewers to experience an art show in a new way.

“It gives people a chance to see design in a new light, to think about the color, the typefaces, the photography, and also to meet the artist or designer — the visionary — behind it all,” associate professor of graphic design and division chair of art and design Corey Fuller said.

According to Cole, graphic artwork can be appreciated in a show, just like any other art form.

“Just because it’s being sold does not mean that it’s not fun or enjoyable or can bring a smile to someone’s face,” he said.

There are many details that go into these kinds of art projects.

“I’m going to have some packaging products there – fake product that we have created a package for,” Cole said. “And a lot of people when they see a packaging on a soda bottle or any product, they don’t really think about ‘oh, there’s a brand on this bottle, there’s a color palette, it’s printed, it’s all on the bottle where we can read it and find the information we need, it’s all organized and planned and there’s an aesthetic to it’.”

Yet from a graphic designer’s perspective, all of these things are important artistic decisions to make.

“For a graphic artist, it’s important but for the rest of the world they just kind of take it and don’t always appreciate it,” he said. “So, I’m hoping that people who come to my show will get a new appreciation for what graphic artists do.”

But for Cole, when he first planned on attending OBU graphic art was not even in his game plan.

“I actually, when I came here four years ago, I was a history major,” Cole said. “Just cause I wanted to declare a major when I came here, I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”

He quickly decided to change his major to study in OBU’s College of Fine Arts’ Division of Art & Design.

“I had taken one drawing class in high school and I had heard that they had an art department here so two weeks before classes started I went and met with the faculty and had one conversation with them,” Cole said. “They asked me if I wanted to switch my major and I was like ‘sure, let’s try it, let’s just see how it goes’.”

It was only later that graphic art become his primary focus.

“I had no idea what graphic art or graphic design or any of that was,” he said. “But I just started taking the general classes, the basic art classes, fell in love with it and it’s where I am now.”

Switching to an arts major presented new challenges.

“I had to take a bunch of drawing classes – like advanced drawing classes – and I’m the worst at drawing,” Cole said. “But if you draw every single day, even if you don’t like it, you will get better at it.”

Arts classes also require students to determine how to set realistic expectations and goals for themselves.

“So when you get an art project or you get a prompt like ‘make a product for this or make a logo for this’ you’re going to have all these big ideas – things that are amazing, but you don’t have the timeline to do it,” Cole said. “So like yeah if you had three weeks to do it, it would be, you know, a great end product, but if you don’t have the time for it ‘what can I do?’ balancing your time.”

Another challenge he faced specifically preparing his senior art show was preparing all of the individual works.

“We make projects and pieces all the time for school projects, but not all of those – you know, they might not turn out so well, you might not get a great grade on them, but when it comes to your show you have to have A level, you have to have the best work you’ve ever done,” Cole said.

It was important for Cole to selectively choose the work included and make the changes necessary to make sure everything was show worthy.

“A lot of its been going back to old projects and kind of fixing them up, fixing where they went wrong and just making sure everything that’s hanging up in the show that I’m super proud of and I feel like it’s perfect, because you want it to be your best work,” he said.

The process of preparing the show started a long way back.

“There isn’t like an official start date,” he said. “I started working on it the start of my senior year just because I wanted to get things going so for when it was time for me to start actually planning and printing and setting out my show, I’d have more ready for it.”

Quite soon, now though, Cole will have the chance to relax a little.

“Once you get to the show’s opening [reception] all the pressure and stress is off,” Cole said. “Everything is done, it’s all hung up, all the pieces are done. You just get to enjoy the moment with all your friends or family and just have a good time.”

Cole hopes to find work as a commercial graphic designer after college.

“After college […] work in an industry where you can create graphics, marketing or advertising, photograph product and create content for the world to enjoy,” he said.

Other graduates of OBU’s graphic design program have successfully found work in similar fields.

According to the OBU website, “Students find a variety of contexts in which to work professionally — large and small design firms as well as in-house creative departments.”

Cole’s personal history at OBU suggests the potential for great things in his future.

“He’s a remarkable young man, a talented designer and a very hard worker,” Fuller said. “Caleb has served in leadership in Art Club and also has served for a couple of years as our lab monitor in the Mac lab, which is sort of a tutoring role, as he helps underclassmen with projects.”

Madison Crow’s senior art show “The Ripple Affect” in Art Building now

*This art show ended March 2

By Jessa Chadwick, Assistant Arts Editor  (Photo by Jonathan Soder/The Bison)

Senior graphic design major Madison Crow’s art exhibit focuses on change throughout times and cultures.

Art has always been a force of change in the world. Throughout time it has challenged people to re-examine the world around them. It challenges the routine and demands of people to ask questions – even to take a stand.

Crow’s “1029: Who is My Neighbor” magazine series is haunting.

Images that show PTSD or No Shave November represent how the smallest actions and decisions affect those around us, even those on the fringes of society.

When I first came through the door, I saw photos from Israel, New York and Hawaii. The plaque next to these photos states, “each of these places has had a significant impact on my life, and I am who I am today because of them.” This demonstrates how certain events can have a huge affect on the rest of people’s lives.

There are pieces that represent change throughout history and cultures in the exhibit, including a charcoal of a Vietnam veteran and another, this one with more stark detail, of a woman in a burka.

Crow will definitely accomplish her dream of changing the world through representing the raw pain of the people in the cracks of society.

However, the exhibit is not just a serious collection of pieces. The package design, called “Finals” is disturbingly accurate at representing a physiological freak-out from finals week.

The package design genius does not stop there, however. A throwback package design to the 90’s will make the twenty-somethings want to pump their fist. When she was looking for a theme, she said she decided to represent the different aspects of change in her art.

“I had toyed around with some different ideas and I wanted to do something that involved change,” Crow said.“My first cheesy idea was ‘inspire change’ but I was like, I need something that’s gonna be more impactful than that because a lot of the pieces that are in my show have to do with change and changing the world around us and how things have changed or changes that you go through in life.”

“So, I chose ‘the ripple affect’ because one small drop of water can cause a big change in its surroundings and water’s always changing. That’s what I want to do with design is to be able to impact the world around me and to leave it better than how I found it.”

The act of creating can be hard. While some may not understand the energy it takes to sit down and start on a piece of art, people should be aware of that struggle.

“There was definitely hundreds and hundreds of hours put into the show,” said Crow. “Just because we’ve all worked so hard and I think a lot of people don’t give art majors and graphic design majors the credit that [they’re due]. There are lots of late nights and you have to constantly be creative and that’s so draining. And no, it’s not comparable to a physics major but it’s hard in a different way. In a way that someone who is outside of that world wouldn’t expect. Even if you’re tired, you still have to continue.”

She encouraged others to go see the art shows put on by the other senior art students.

“If you can’t make it the opening night, just go check it out because we’ve all worked very hard and we want people to see our art,” Crow said.

Corey Fuller, associate professor of graphic design, has helped guide Crow’s talent and growth as an artist over the past year-and-a-half.

“Madi took a unique path-way—she started out as a Math major before switching over to Graphic Design. I think you can still see some of that analytical problem-solving ability in her current work.”

“[She] is a very driven person, not only in a classroom context, but she lives life with a sense of urgency. She has several causes that’s she’s passionate about. I can see her in the future using design as a tool for advocacy. She understands the power of design in influencing people. I imagine she’ll continue to use her skills as a positive force to make the world a better place.”

Another of Crow’s teachers, assistant professor of art Julie Blackstone enjoyed having Crow in the classroom with her other students.

“I had Madi in a drawing class over J-term,” Blackstone said. “And I can tell you she has many talents beyond graphic design. She did well with her drawings, of course, but one of her strengths that I valued was her ability to mentor and encourage other students. I could always count on her to say something helpful during critiques. I can only imagine success for Madi. She has the talent, poise, drive, and personality to do well in the graphic design field.”

According to Blackstone, there are several benefits of an art degree from Oklahoma Baptist University.

“The senior show is a required capstone project for all art majors,” Blackstone said. “Frankly, it’s one of the wonderful benefits of being here at OBU, a smaller art program. At many larger schools, seniors may submit to a senior show, and hope to get one or two items included. Here the senior gets a solo exhibition. The reception isn’t part of the requirement–it’s an expense that some students would rather avoid–but the show is required.”