Graduating art and design students to present their best work at SUMA

SUU student working on letterpress project, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, 2016-17 | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — The artwork of 27 graduating seniors presenting their best work in emphases including ceramics, illustration, graphic design and paint/drawing/printmaking will go on exhibit at the Southern Utah Museum of Art in Cedar City starting Thursday.

The “Senior Bachelor of Fine Arts” exhibit represents the work of Southern Utah University students in the department of art & design and will be on display at SUMA from March 23-April 29. The public may visit the museum free Tuesdays-Saturdays, noon-6 p.m.

SUU student working on a printmaking project, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, 2016-17 | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News

“For me, the Senior BFA Exhibition is an opportunity to go above and beyond when it comes to the application of my concept,” graduate candidate Michael Lee said. “I’ve always been one to try to stretch myself as a designer. The BFA show lets me take that part of me and apply it to a large scale project. It helps me work through as many problems that could come up in a real-life scenario.”

As part of an artist’s learning, students study the human figure to learn how to best represent the human form in two- and three-dimensional art.

A few pieces of student art on display in this exhibit offer a presentation of the nude human figure in their work. The university encourages concerned patrons to view the exhibit before bringing children into the museum, it said in its news release.

“A BFA in the visual arts takes time,” SUU Art and Design Department Chair Jeff Hanson said, “lots and lots of it. Students started this journey as children and stuck with it through adolescence when many abandon the habit of creating visual things. They continued that journey by choosing our university and have spent countless hours of their undergraduate experience making and remaking, and then making objects again and again. All this effort and time is spent simply learning timeless processes that take thinking and skill and mastery of tools. They have now mastered their talent.

“This is the students’ show, their opportunity to exhibit a lifetime achievement, to use their visual voice to make a statement about the world they live in. Artist and designers alike share what it means to be a part of their generation through their individual exhibits.”

The most important part of a student’s education is overcoming the fear of doing something different and challenging, something they do not have answers to, the university’s news release said, allowing them to explore the different paths available to them to bring about personal fulfillment in a project.

“Mastery of materials and tools are important,” Hanson said, “but it’s the thinking evident in the final work, the personal experience made universal through sharing it with an audience, that is critical for each student to experience.”

Graphic Designer Bridgette Burr came to SUU for the smaller class sizes that allowed for a more personal education and one-on-one mentorship from her professors, she said, which helped her grow into a better designer.

“I think this program is really empowering,” Burr said. “As I’ve moved forward through my time here, I’ve become more confident about myself, both in a personal way and in a professional, artistic sense. I now feel like I can be successful as a designer, and that I can find real enjoyment in my not so distant future career.”

Event details

  • What: Senior Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibit.
  • Where: Southern Utah Museum of Art at The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts, corner of University and 300 West on the SUU campus, Cedar City.
  • When: March 23-April 29.
  • Cost: No cost to the public visiting the museum Tuesdays-Saturdays, noon-6 p.m.
  • Resources: More info about SUU’s Department of Art and Design is available online.

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