Ohio Wesleyan Graduating Seniors Share ‘Happenings’ in Art Exhibit

‘Empathy’ by Ohio Wesleyan student Melissa Ward is one of the pieces submitted for ‘Happenings,’ an exhibit by 18 OWU graduating seniors. The exhibit will displayed in the Richard M. Ross Art Museum from April 12 through May 11.

‘Empathy’ by Ohio Wesleyan student Melissa Ward is one of the pieces submitted for ‘Happenings,’ an exhibit by 18 OWU graduating seniors. The exhibit will displayed in the Richard M. Ross Art Museum from April 12 through May 11.

DELAWARE, Ohio – The artistic creations of 18 Ohio Wesleyan University graduating seniors will be on exhibit April 12 through May 11 at OWU’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. The exhibition, titled “Happenings,” will open with a special Saturday reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 12.

“ ‘Happenings’ celebrates our moments – both the ones that happened at Ohio Wesleyan, and the ones that happen continually in our work,” said Suzy Stephens of Columbus, Ohio. “Though we say a bittersweet goodbye to our OWU peers and professors, our art keeps the memory of our collegiate experience alive.”

All of the pieces in the exhibit were selected by a jury of Ohio Wesleyan fine arts faculty. After the works were chosen, the exhibit was designed by Justin Kronewetter, director of the Ross Art Museum; Tammy Wallace, first assistant of the museum; and students in Kronewetter’s gallery management class. The students also helped to install the exhibit.

Ohio Wesleyan graduating seniors participating in the “Happenings” exhibition are:

  • Hannah Appelbaum of St. Louis, Mo. “My pieces vary from expressive portraiture to meditative carving and sculpture,” said Appelbaum, who is studying ceramics and painting. “I’m drawn to very detailed images and designs. Recently I have had the opportunity to work in metals, and I get a lot of gratification from creating intricate piercing and soldering designs. My inspiration comes from artists such as Dürer and Cezanne, and forms from sea life.”
  • Hazel Barrera of Juarez, Mexico/El Paso, Texas. “As a U.S. citizen raised in Mexico, my work speaks of my Mexican identity and values,” said Barrera, who is studying metals and jewelry. “I use mineral pigments to bring into my artwork the colors from the Mexican culture. My artwork also raises conversations about femininity influenced by Frida Kahlo, and makes a comment on the ideal Mexican woman.”
  • Challen Brown of Cardington, Ohio. “My art is about conveying certain ideas and aspects to people through photographs,” said Brown, who is studying photography. “It’s about showing people the things they do not normally notice, by using certain angles and highlighting small details that people often disregard in their daily lives. I often like to photograph subject matter and places that are not necessarily considered beautiful by the general public, to convey the value that I see in them.”
  • JaeMin Chung of Seoul, South Korea. “I use Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to design advertising and marketing materials,” said Chung, who is studying graphic design. “This includes logos, posters, booklets, info-graphics, and pamphlets. I’m also interested in book making, because my graphic design skills allow me to create unique artist books. I believe that art is the language of emotions. Through art, I am trying to express my innermost feelings, and I wish to communicate my thoughts and emotions with people around the world.”
  • Danielle Haley of Toledo, Ohio. “I am always bouncing back and forth between using a digital camera, a 35 mm, and a Hassleblad,” said Haley, who is studying photography. “Sometimes I print in the dark room, but mostly I upload my digital photos to the computer or scan my film and edit the images in Photoshop. Some of my pieces are based on texture, and some of them are landscape. One thing they all have in common is that they are usually simple. Some of my work was done in New Mexico, which has inspired me to want to travel to other places out West and even other countries to take photographs.”
  • Sanaa Hazratjee of Dayton, Ohio. “Born in Texas to a Greek and British mother and Pakistani father, I am a graduating senior with an art major and economics and philosophy minors,” Hazratjee said. “I mostly define myself as a hyper-realism drawist; however, I also enjoy building 3D elements with ceramic and metal medium. I like to showcase my cultural heritage through my art, and often reflect adopted styles from Pakistan, such as Arabic calligraphy, both in the literal sense of creating art with text, as well as with the curvature nature of my artwork itself.”
  • Ha Le of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. “My art owes its intricacy, linear quality, and warm color palette to my cultural background – Vietnam, said Le, who is studying drawing, painting, and printmaking “My figurative work centers on describing to the fullest extent the personality and expression of my models. … Recently I’m moving toward abstraction and focusing more on exploring composition, line quality, and interaction of shapes and lines in space. Through close investigation of structural elements and their possibilities, I want to move away from the narrative track and take on the challenge of creating compelling images that communicate with the audience on a stronger visual level.”
  • Ngoc “Allie” Le of Hanoi, Vietnam. “Currently, I have been self-teaching motion graphic, which takes a big role in the commercial/communication world nowadays. I have also experienced all aspects of design – from logos, banners, website interface to flash, iPhone apps, and videos/motion graphic,” said Le, who is studying graphic design and photography. “I enjoy working with both film and digital camera. My hobby is to travel and do landscape photos. I focus on creating harmony and simplicity in my work. My palette is commonly pastel colors. My work shows my longing for nature and the beauty around me.”
  • Amy LeFebvre of Granville, Mass. “For a long time I was content with the beautiful, variable, and strong lines that pencils can make,” said LeFebvre, a studio art major and sociology-anthropology minor. “I adapted these lines to photography, metals, charcoal, ink, and ceramics, but oil paint was conflicting with its historical roots with the great masters. When I started, I realized oil paint was flexible and swam its beautiful lines across the canvas whereas pencils were solid and strong. These beautiful lines, my beautiful lines, help me explore and learn about humankind, human culture, and the world around me.”
  • Maddy Mavec of Hunting Valley, Ohio. “Geometric shapes fascinate me and are a large part of both my paintings and ceramics,” Mavec said. “When I am working, the decisions I make are based on impulse. Each shape, including its size, orientation, color, and application, is affected based on the reaction I have to what came before. I find myself obsessed with how these shapes naturally interlock. I am intrigued by how such simple forms are capable of becoming complex compositions when put together. … My works are not just random colorful geometric forms; instead, they are visual displays of myself.”
  • Alex Michener of St. Louis, Mo. “My practice revolves around the obfuscation of Dionysian principals through observing the temporality and discreetness of form and gesture,” said Michener, who paints in oils. “I find my work fits in the trajectory of art historical traditions of such masters as Mathew Day Jackson and Jocelyn Hobbie.”
  • Sonja Petermann of St. Louis, Mo. “I enjoy working from the figure in an indoor space and strive to create interesting compositions using shapes made by light and adding layers of texture to create depth,” said Petermann, whose concentrations are in printmaking and drawing.
  • Katasha Ross of Dublin, Ohio.Much of my metal work contains a small shape or pattern that repeats based on a rule,” Ross said. “Even if I use the same pattern on another piece, the effect will always be different by the end, because the entirety of the design is a response to the unique first shape that I began the pattern with. As I work, it looks as if the pattern is alive as it grows naturally across the form, reacting to itself. It is this concept of self-awareness that inspires me to create the piece. This urge to design based upon self-reflection of the design is drawn from my own life philosophy, highly valuing inner reflection and conscious living.
  • Suzy Stephens of Columbus, Ohio.Fear, anxiety, memory. I needed a way to visualize feelings that were at once both wordless and restless,” Stephens said of works submitted for the “Happenings” exhibit. “I was looking to my family history for answers – specifically in the form of an old box wrapped in faded pink, stashed silently in my parent’s closet. Vernacular photography is one thing, loaded recollections are another. How could I make ordinary pictures of my family interesting to a stranger?”
  • Tyler Travis of Delaware, Ohio. “When I begin an art piece I rarely know what I am trying to create,” said Travis, who is studying painting and printmaking. “Generally, I make a few marks and respond to what I see before me. My process is intuitive and at times subconscious. I try hard not to fit myself into an art movement of the past, but instead strive to create an art movement of the ‘now.’ I feel strongly about making art that is relevant to my specific unique time and setting on this planet. Therefore, I aim to create art that transcends conventional classifications, intrigues the art folks, and introduces something new into the world.”
  • Melissa Ward of Delaware, Ohio. “I work in charcoal and ink to create my drawings,” said Ward, a fine arts major and health and human kinetics minor. “My works focus mainly on the figure as well as the beautiful mistakes that can happen within the mediums themselves while making a piece.”
  • Elizabeth Warner of Plain City, Ohio.I am moved to create art through digital photography in the forms of photographs, artist books, and digital imagery,” Warner said. “My artwork is inspired by the simple intricacies I find in everyday life as well as by color, texture, line, and movement. … I have also found new interest in the form of airplanes and the line and movement they create. Using their form along with other images dealing with airplanes, I have created digital images that are more abstract than the plane itself. With each new discovery, my artwork takes on new form and I can’t wait to see it grow throughout my lifetime.”
  • Matt Wasserman of Weston, Conn. “My work incorporates my interest in the eye and brain by creating art that provokes the viewer into both appreciating and solving the puzzle that is my work,” said Wasserman, a photography major and psychology minor. “Photography is my preferred medium, but I also exhibit work in mixed media.”

Learn more about the Ohio Wesleyan artists and their creations on a website they created at owu-senior-artists-2014.weebly.com.

Ohio Wesleyan’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is handicap-accessible and admission is always free. Call (740) 368-3606 or visit ross.owu.edu for more information.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private, coed university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, minors, and concentrations, and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world practice. OWU’s 1,850 students represent 42 states and 37 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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