Senior Eli Adams, a self-designed Visual Culture Theory major, explains how it was encouraged not to take other courses while taking Open Studio, but took two other classes on the side anyway. Still, Adams managed to create roughly 25 to 30 pieces of work during the class and presented roughly 15 during the final exhibit.
“Open Studio tries to get you to figure out what your work is about, which I think can be a good and bad thing. But one thing they wanted me to focus on was the fact that I like tactile stuff and touching stuff. I was exploring how I can get people to touch it and in what ways can people touch it,” Adams said.
Adams’ primary focus while creating art is working with tactility. Each piece that was put in the show allowed the viewers to touch, play and interact with the art. Adams’ partner for the exhibit was senior Ruth Holmes who primarily focuses on painting and film.
“Between the two of us, we thought we would work well together because we both deal with gender and bodies,” Adams said. “She deals more heavily with her past memories while I deal more heavily with tactility, which is where we start to divide. But I think that like a sensualness or like a comfort or discomfort type thing is present in both of our works so that was kind of the theme of the show”.
The title of their show was called “Meat” which the two came up with when examining what their art made them think and feel.
“It’s a euphemism for genitalia, it references kind of the internal self, like the literal internal bodily self, like a lot of the stuff are those colors, and it’s kind of gross so we were like into it as a title,” Adams said.
For Senior Hannah King, the exhibit was more about the memory of people, particularly her family. Her art is primarily painting with watercolor and experimenting with ink, charcoal, and markers while drawing. Open Studio challenged her to explore new ways of creating.
“It was tough and stressful but really eye-opening too because we are expected to be working here,” King said,.“I had a lot of time where I had to push through artist’s block and get really uncomfortable and try new things. It was nice. Some of the work I made I don’t think I would’ve made if I wasn’t in Open Studio”.
She was paired with senior Anabelen Zuniga for the Spring exhibit. Both artists played with the idea of memory. Zuniga focused on the memory of places and things while King focused on people. Their exhibit, “Variation of Memory,” premiered on April 26th.
Senior Kelly Hayes is excited to be finished with Open Studio so she can slow down and process her creative ideas but cherished the experience for its intensity.
“I think that something with Open Studio is [that] it’s a very intense course and so you are having to produce a lot of work very quickly because of the time that we are given. Now I’m taking an independent study course where I can go more at my own pace, so I’m starting to kind of slow down and think about things differently,” Hayes said.
When deciding who she was going to pair up with for the exhibit, it made the most sense for her to work with senior David Petrak. Both artists focus on the body and figures in their art and thought they would compliment each other nicely in a showcase environment. The title of their show was called “Insides Out.”
“We were really focusing on what complimented each other when we put things up. It was a big focus through open studio to learn how to hang a show, and we went downstairs and laid everything out and just kind of pick and choose what complimented each other,” Hayes said.
While picking which pieces she should hang on the wall, she and Petrak spent an extensive period deciding which pieces looked the best with one another. This meant that some of the pieces that were hung weren’t necessarily Hayes’ favorite.
“There was some that I put up that I wasn’t super excited to put up, but I also think that’s part of the process of making work,” Hayes said. “Something that we learned through Open Studio is that you are going to be dissatisfied with your work, but it is about pushing through and getting out what you can out of each piece.”