Senior’s art showcases ‘Self Discovery’

Kate Fechter

When a student in the bachelor of fine arts program nears the end of their degree, they are given the opportunity to do a senior exhibition, in which they plan and execute an exhibit of their artwork.

Megan Bahre, 22, is the first student this semester to have her senior exhibit on display in the Art Building this semester. Her senior exhibit runs until March 23 and Bahre gave her gallery talk last Thursday. There she explained the pieces in her

exhibit and where her inspiration for the work derived from.

“Self Discovery” is the name of Bahre’s exhibit and it centers on just that. Bahre chose paintings, prints and photographs that represent her past, present and future.

“I realized I was just conforming to who I thought everyone wanted me to be,” said Bahre. “Who I thought they wanted me to be or what I thought teachers wanted me to do or what would impress them the most. I took that and started to go back into my past and figure out what got me where I am today and then I went from that to who I am right now. Then I looked to the future and about who I would want to be.”

The gallery in the Art Building is just inside the front door of the art building along the front area before the classrooms. Bahre’s painting “Marbles” is on display on the left wall when you first enter the building. Bahre said the painting goes back to childhood and toys that she enjoyed but is also about the restrictions placed on children.

Next Bahre talked about 35 mm photographs she took of Horne Park, where she played as a child. She spoke

about the decay of the park and the process in which she applied an effect to the photographs placing crumpled tissue paper over the photo paper in the darkroom.

“It’s very dark and very, very moody and almost nightmarish, ” said Bahre.

“I did have lots of fun times there though.”

Another part of the exhibit includes photographs from a road trip around Kansas Bahre took with her father. This represents how important her family relationships are to her.

“It was a motorcycle ride with my father,” said Bahre. “I am a huge daddy’s girl.

My other family members, my mom, sister and brother, they helped me name the photos; pick out which ones I wanted in the book. So this book would never have been finished or made without them.”

There are also two colorful oil paintings and prints she did using paper, plate and stone lithography. Finally, there are digital images of Bahre in which the skeleton is revealed underneath. Bahre said these represent who she wants to be; “very confident, self assertive” with “inner structure to help stand tall.”

When putting together a senior exhibition, the student has a faculty mentor to help with the exhibit. Bahre’s faculty mentor on her exhibit is MaryDorsey Wanless, who has also been an important mentor during her time at Washburn. “My main mentor is MaryDorsey Wanless,” said Bahre. “She is the photography teacher. But I’ve had multiple teachers that have inspired me.”

Glenda Taylor, art department chair, gave information on Washburn’s senior exhibitions.

“The ability to have a solo senior exhibit is fairly unique,” said Taylor. “Most places have too many people and not enough space and have to have group exhibitions or are part of a group exhibition. This is completely different than planning your own exhibition, putting it up by yourself and controlling all the content.”

Taylor said it’s a professional experience and also the cumulative experience from the bachelor of fine arts program. She also talked about the exhibit done by Bahre.

“She has a really nice, cohesive exhibit and I think that’s a strength of this exhibit,” said Taylor. “All the works she’s chosen have a quality to them. They’re all well-done, well-crafted quality artworks. That’s a characteristic we hope all seniors have. Every piece in that senior exhibit is worthy of a senior exhibit. She did a

good job.”