Juried student exhibition showcased

By Farah Bassyouni Apr 15, 2022

As the end of the school draws near, art students are busy presenting their final exhibits at the Merwin and Wakeley Galleries in the Ames School of Art. This year’s 35th annual exhibit opened on Monday, March 28. 

 Seniors BFA students Laura Westpfhal and Zoe Saputra created art exhibitions in the gallery of Ames Art Building as a final graduation requirement for the major.

Each artist chooses eight to ten pieces of art that he or she has created that year. The pieces do not have to be class projects, and should reflect the artist’s concentration. Artists work with faculty to put together the show. 

“This is like a visual thesis, especially when you’re graduating from the school of art. You’re showing your breadth of knowledge and depth of knowledge visually,” Gallery Director Carmen Lozar said.

The works of art the artist chooses will fit into a theme of his or her choosing. The artist may use multiple types of media.

Zoe Saputra, a senior bachelor of fine arts (BFA) art major, centered her exhibition around character design in the anime style. Saputra, whose concentration is in graphic design, used her prefered medium, digital art.

Her exhibit consists of two walls of matte decals, one wall of print characters, and one wall with part of her webcomic “Forger of the Heart.” There is also a wall with a blurb introducing the theme of the exhibition.

“My characters all have unique traits even though there is no narrative to go with them,” Saputra said. 

“Each piece has such a distinct personality, and Saputra’s consistent style creates a cohesive band of characters,” senior Isabel Sperry said. 

Each wall features characters with similar traits. Among the decals are Saputra’s series of animal characters.

“Sometimes my characters look like normal people but I wanted my animal characters to look more fantastical,” Saputra said. 

The focus on diverse characters and personalities stems from Saputra’s interest in the anime art style. She has been creating mostly digital art in the anime art style since 2011.

Lozar has taken note of Zoe’s passion for anime and remembers the beginning of Zoe’s art journey.

“I’m pleased that she has work in her show that is work she is proud of,” Lozar added. 

The exhibition gave students a chance to display their art as well as the possibility to have their art purchased. On Saturday, April 9, several groups on campus purchased students’ art, such as Ames Library and the Office of Residential Life. President Georgia Nugent was also among the purchasers and took home Sperry’s ceramic sculpture.

“It was a huge honor that President Nugent chose my art, and validated my hard work,” Sperry said. 

All juried art will be on display until April 20.

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