Senior art scintillates

Senior show Casey Melton poses with his handiwork. Melton's art was showcased in his senior art exhibit, and displayed the culmination of his work at Washburn University.

Meghan Ryan

Last week, the Senior Art Exhibit featured works by student artist Casey Melton. The showcase of charcoal sketches and facial sculptures was on exhibit for two weeks in the art building.

The exhibit transformed the first floor of the art building into an art studio. An easel clutched a large, dark, emotional charcoal interpretation. The stool and charcoal drawing utensils surrounding the work instilled a sense of trespass, as if you were walking into something private, a work in progress that shouldn’t be interrupted.

Set up as an installation piece, the charcoal self portrait on the easel, “I Have Fallen” created a sense of unease in the viewer. The portrait was based on a traumatic life changing event for artist Casey Melton.

“[It was an] experience that had made me question my identity,” said senior Casey Melton. “It represented a decision point of where I was going with my life and works.”

Melton chose to display his works in the same perspective as the artist would while the work is being created. No formatting, glass or frames separated the audience from the art. The raw artwork explored the concept of identity through quick, exciting sketches of the human form – both masculine and feminine. Unity flowed through the hallway with the positioning of the art laid on the ground or adhered to the walls. Even the  texture of the pieces seemed to flow from start to finish.

Senior Art Exhibits such as Melton’s are required for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. The exhibit is the capstone project required for the degree program. The artists must plan and budget for the exhibits, which makes them take charge of the entire process.

“[They must] show professional competency and learn the practical considerations of having a show,” said Marguerite Perret, art professor and advisor for the exhibits. “The displays are a way for new emerging artists to present their works to the public.”

Melton said the most important aspect of the exhibition is the critique by the teachers. The constructive criticism gives artists helpful hints on what to improve for postgraduate works.

“I think that the students at Washburn should definitely take advantage of art on campus,” said Melton.

Exhibits are free and open to the public, and the locality of the building should make it easy for students to gain access and culture through fellow students’ art.Daniel Coburn will be the next senior artist to be featured.

“[Coburn will] break preconceptions of stereotypical photography,” said Perret. He uses mixed methods and applications of photography  to create interesting effects.