Art students aspire to make an ‘impression’ with student-produced exhibition

Published by , Author: Megan Bush - Campus Life Editor, Date: April 13, 2017
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As part of this semester’s art seminar class, a group of junior and senior art majors worked together to produce an exhibition of student works that will be on display at Butler Art Center from Wednesday, April 12 until Monday, April 17.

Senior Bachelor of Arts major Kasey Kurpakus is one of the exhibitionists for the art show, titled ‘Impressions.’  Kurpakus said putting this show together had been a challenge, as many of the students had never done anything of that scale, but it was a great collaborative learning experience.

“The best moment [for me] was leaving the gallery and seeing everything hanging,” Kurpakus said.  “After seeing everything up, it’s pretty rewarding.”

Kurpakus said the exhibition’s theme, ‘Impressions,’ was developed when the students were attempting to come up with a cohesive theme that could represent every artist’s work well.  The idea that each piece of artwork is an impression of the artist who created it was discussed, and the students agreed on ‘Impressions’ for their theme.

The class is made up of 20 upperclassmen art students, and each student submitted at least three pieces for this show.  The works include a variety of different mediums, including ceramics, photography and etchings.  Kurpakus said this exhibition shows a good representation of all the different artists and the mediums used within SRU’s art department.

Submitted by Kurpakus were a few etchings of moons.  Kurpakus said the etchings were something she worked on during the fall semester of her senior year.  Science fiction is something that has always interested her, and she is fascinated by all of the moons in the solar system and how much people truly do not know about them.

“We have a few grainy images of them, but we really don’t know anything,” Kurpakus said.  “I worked off those images and came up with my own ideas.”

Kurpakus also submitted a number of stitching portraits, the process of which interested her when she took a class in embroidery, a medium outside of her comfort zone.

“Traditional, classic embroidery isn’t really my thing,” Kurpakus said.  “I liked the idea of creating something differently.”

Some of her favorite pieces submitted for the show include the ceramics, because she said it was cool to see someone excel in a medium she usually struggles with.  Kurpakus also expressed that she enjoyed generally seeing everyone’s work, and that it was great to truly get an ‘impression’ of the other artists she may not have known as well as others.

Even though she is a graduating senior, Kurpakus has only spent about five semesters in SRU’s art department because she transferred in.  She said she enjoys the Slippery Rock arts because there are a lot of opportunities to step outside of their comfort zones and work in different mediums.

In those two and a half years, Kurpakus was able to participate in many different events and collaborations through the art department.  Some of these include a collaboration with Polish SRU students and a 6×6 show in New York.  She also mentioned that at the end of every year, senior art students present their senior shows; this year’s shows will begin to be displayed every Monday starting on April 17.

“It’s a really cool experience to have a gallery that’s just you, just your work,” Kurpakus said.

Kurpakus said she hopes those who attend ‘Impressions’ are able to develop an appreciation for the arts; the students are looking to give all who attend good impressions.

“Each piece is like a fingerprint of an artist, it’s a piece of us,” Kurpakus said.  “As an artist, we want to share that with others.”

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