This Thursday, May 4, the annual spring senior art exhibition will open in the Colby Museum of Art. This exhibition gives studio art majors a chance to display their work and become more familiar with the process of a museum exhibition. From sculpting and painting to photography and printmaking, a wide variety of art will be displayed within this exhibition. This year, 13 seniors will have their work featured, all of whom have spent the past year in concentration classes and their senior capstone to curate a selection of their art to include in the showing.
Mary Bevilacqua `23 has chosen a series of six graphite portraits that are drawn on wood panels to display in the exhibition. With a love for drawing and painting, Bevilacqua decided to play with different mediums to bring the faces that she drew to life.
“Pencil and graphite is just a very familiar medium to me that I know how to use and make it do what I want. I decided to put it to good use on a new surface — wood rather than paper. The wood was intriguing to me because of how the grains both complicate and complement the portraits and drawings that I make on them. They seem to add to the contours of the face and even the emotion and affect of the portrait themselves,” Bevilacqua said.
Whether she is doodling faces in a class or sitting down to draw a friend, Bevilacqua found inspiration in capturing the many emotions and facial expressions that people experience.
“In the series that will be in the senior show, I have been working with portraiture that holds emotion. Specifically emotions that are up for interpretation and ambiguous. They may not be known to the viewer, or maybe even the subject, but they are felt. Emotions that are relatable but perhaps not nameable — nostalgia, the feeling or moment of completely zoning out of reality and being deep in your thoughts,” Bevilacqua said.
“I want to invite viewers to question the expressions of my drawings because we all as humans don’t always know what we are feeling.”
As an American studies and studio art double major, Bevilacqua uses art as an outlet. As it has always been part of her life, when she chose to come to the College, she knew that it was something that she wanted to pursue and could do so within the liberal arts curriculum.
“When I am doing something artistic, like drawing, painting, or really anything creative, I feel very at peace. It is something that I can get lost in. I like to keep my hands moving and making art is one of my favorite ways to do so,” Bevilacqua said.
Throughout the course of the year, as Bevilacqua has worked on this project, she has been able to learn from the process. While she changed direction part way through the year and shifted from painting to drawing, Bevilacqua has learned the importance of embracing the process and adapting if need be.
“I have learned that taking artistic liberties is okay and necessary sometimes. Not everything has to be perfect and some of the best work comes from ‘accidents’ or times when you let expectations go. Sometimes your art can surprise yourself and embracing those moments can help you move forward,” Bevilacqua said.
“I have learned to make art for myself and do so in ways that I enjoy rather than how other people want or expect of me.”
To celebrate the culmination of the capstone projects and the work of studio art majors in collaborating to put together an exhibition, be sure to stop by the opening at the Museum on May 4 between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to see and support their work!
~ Annie Goldstein `26