Senior holds ‘Homegrown’ exhibition on campus

Homegrown: Senior Connor Wells poses with a homemade poster of 'The Sandlot.' Wells grew up in Topeka and looks to express himself through nostalgic work.

Josh Setchel

“Everybody is different and has their own unique story,” reads the official statement of ‘Homegrown’ artist Connor Wells.

Wells is a senior graphic design and electronic arts major born and raised in Topeka. He grew up with an aptitude for drawing and was inspired by movie posters and video game art to pursue his major.

Wells’ exhibition will be featured on Oct. 10-21 on the ground floor of Washburn’s art building. ‘Homegrown’ details Wells’ personal life stories through pieces devoted to relics of his childhood.

“After taking multiple graphic design and art classes here at Washburn, I knew graphic design is what I wanted to do,” said Wells. “My high school art teacher was also a student here and had nothing but good words about Washburn and the art program.”

A self-proclaimed sports and video game enthusiast, Wells’ featured pieces include homemade posters of the 1993 film, “The Sandlot,” book jackets devoted to three generations of the classic Nintendo series “The Legend of Zelda,” a ceramic sculpture of every “Super Mario” player’s biggest headache, the Piranha Plant, and several works detailing his love of Kansas City’s sports teams.

“I love sports, especially in Kansas City, and every sports team has social media with tons of graphics that are eye catching,” Wells said. “Same with video games. Video games are nothing but graphics that appeal to the viewer and attract attention.”

According to Wells’ personal statement, which hangs on the far wall in the gallery, his ambition was to give his audience a glimpse inside his past and how it shaped him into the man he is today.

“I am a very lighthearted person and I want my work to express the same adjective,” Wells writes. “My experience in the art program has been filled with joy and laughter, so I want my show to be the same way.”

Wells even revealed his favorite piece on display: his Sluggerrr prints completed in his Intaglio printmaking class.

“I have been a fan my entire life and I wanted to incorporate them into my show somehow. So I figured Sluggerrr would be perfect for one of my designs. Wells has no plans of putting his work to rest following his graduation. He’s currently employed at Schurle Signs, an advertising company stationed in Lawrence and he intends to continue his career there in a full time capacity.

“I am homegrown and this is my show,” Weels said as a condensed mission statement. Take a trip down to the Art building have a look before it’s gone.

The next Art Department student exhibitions will be from Monday, Oct. 24 through Friday, Nov. 4. Students Cassie Leigh and Meghan Barnes will be featured.

For more information, contact Washburn’s Art Department at (785) 670-1125.