2017 Art & Design Senior Thesis Exhibition

2017 Art & Design Senior Thesis Exhibition
University of St. Francis Art Gallery
25 East Van Buren Street
Joliet, Illinois, 60432

Opening Reception: Friday, April 28, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Exhibition Dates: May 1 through June 22, 2017

Exhibiting Artists: Danielle Conrad, Yifan ‘Klaus’ Mao, José Ortiz, Joey Santillo, Amber Shibley,
Ashlee Stevens and Shannon Walker

2017 Art & Design Senior Thesis Promotional Video

The annual Art & Design Thesis Exhibition provides an in-depth look at graduating senior projects. Thesis candidates develop a series of artworks, graphic design or photography with assistance of their thesis advisor. These projects are presented in a professional format that includes commercial design, interactive digital portfolios, and exhibition installations.

Danielle Conrad, No. 3 from the series “Danielle (ego)”, 2017

Danielle Conrad
Artist Statement:

What is a molecule that carries the genetic instructions used in the growth, development, functioning and reproduction of all known living organisms? What are the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions that make a person or group? What is the process can be creative or destructive. an object normally worn on the face, typically for protection, disguise, performance, or entertainment? These statements are the basis of my thesis. The title of this project is Danielle (ego). Presented as a photobook and large framed prints hung on the wall. The project is an exploration of abstracted self. The intent of this project is to explore the correlation between mind, personality, and body language. Using language, textures, colors, masking, and forms this project presents the connection between physical and mental identity. By abstracting the body forms, I attempt to explain my thought on the body and emotions created through myself. This abstracting is visually appealing and will hook the audience in visually and then mentally when they look harder into what is actually means. For what it means, that is for the audience to create and make their own opinion on it. Everyone has different views and opinions on everything, that is the beauty of art. I am making this thesis to explain me as an artist and person and for others to learn and figure out what they think I am trying to say or what they see.

José Ortiz, Untitled, 2017

José Ortiz
Artist Statement:

Suicide is a delicate subject. Although it’s been around us, we barely discuss it. By now, most of us have heard or known someone who committed suicide or at least attempted it. In my case, by the age of twelve, I’ve attended two funerals that relate to suicide acts. Now, as I’m about to complete my bachelors in Visual Arts Education, I want to use my final project to build conscience about this subject matter. According to childtrends.org, 8.6 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 attempted suicide in 2015. That means that 8 students out of 100 attempted suicide which is unacceptable. It is important for all us of understand and be aware about suicide to be able to prevent it. I will use my thesis project to represent what the statistics show in a form of an interactive point perspective piece to discuss this subject matter.

Joey Santillo, Untitled, 2017

Joey Santillo
Artist Statement

The work I have produced is not meant to trick the eye or leave the viewer wondering if I was trying to tackle a bigger issue at hand. Rather, they have been made for the viewer to relate to them in their own way through their own personal experiences. Somewhere everybody has a home. There are signs and symbols that are so specific to each that only those who have been can truly feel that meaning behind them. Here in the United States these little subjects are what makes a place home. The goal is to unlock that feeling of nostalgia that is so unique to each person. We focus so much on the places we are going that we sometimes forget where we have been. This work is meant to be that subtle reminder.

Ashlee Stevens, cover of book “Once Upon a Time”, 2017

Ashlee Stevens
Artist Statement

Humans have created images for tens of thousands of years, even longer than they have utilized the written word. To this day, the human race still uses images as integral part of our communications. In order to explore the ability of images to convey a complex message such as a narrative, I created a story, illustrated it, and threw out all the words. In doing so, I have changed the story possibly irreparably, as without the strict confines of the written word it can no longer be permanently set down. Each and every time the story is told it will be different from the time before as images are a much more nebulous way of storytelling than the words firmly written down and strictly holding meaning. In this way, I have shared the authorship between myself and the reader and created a different “reading” experience than the reader will normally encounter.

Amber Shibley, Dad from the series “Titled”, 2017

Amber Shibley
Artist Statement:

My original idea for this thesis was to photograph models in a manner to redefine gender stereotypes. I had started photographing men in stereotypically girl places or doing feminine tasks and females doing masculine tasks. In the end this topic just wasn’t working. Many stereotypes have changed over time and are no longer relevant. Instead, I just decided to photograph portraits of people. My aim to get people to think about the person in each photograph and to see who they think each model is and what they do with their lives. Each photograph has a simple one word title that represents it. This is the basis for the title of the entire piece of work, called Titled.

Shannon Walker, Self-Portrait, Mom, and Grandma from the series “Perception is Reality”, 2016-2017

Shannon Walker
Artist Statement:

“Perception is Reality” is a small body of work exploring how the world around me is perceived by other individuals, while I delve further into my own views of the world. It is a common belief that we are all living in one set reality, but our individual experiences and viewpoints of life form separate realities. My work includes an imaginative world that simultaneously symbolizes real life perspectives. Children often look forward to being adults while adults wish they could relive their childhood. Young adults have the world at their fingertips but still ponder major life decisions. Their parents look proudly unto their young adult children, settled and happy with their life while our elders hold onto their youth and grasp their family close. It is all a cycle.

For additional information, please contact Jennifer Moore, Gallery Director at jmoore@stfrancis.edu