‘Egress’ exhibition now live

Senior students tackle current events through their art

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Trinity University’s annual Senior Art Major Exhibition is here. This year’s exhibition, titled Egress, bids farewell to six senior art majors by showcasing their best work on campus.

Senior art majors featured in the exhibition include Stella Luck, Skylr McCormick-Isom, Kate Nuelle, Bella Peters, Stephen Sumrall-Orsak and Cole Warner. The exhibition is scheduled to run from April 29th to May 22, and is being held in the Michael and Noémi Neidorff Art Gallery, located on the first floor of the Dickie Smith Art building.

Works from these student artists tackle a variety of concepts through a mixture of media and the exploration of artistic forms. The exhibition is an example of the perseverance, reflection and creativity that Trinity art students behold, especially during a global pandemic.

Front and center are the four fiber works of Stella Luck, senior studio art and Spanish double major. Luck created her pieces of entangled abstract forms using an intricate textile weaving technique called tufting. Luck’s formal choices, including the repetition of the number 1821 on a barcode form, help to convey and connect the intricate ideas behind her work. Drawing inspiration from her experiences as a donor conceived person, Luck’s work invites us to step up close and personal.

Skylr McCormick-Isom’s featured work in the exhibition is a sequence of three conceptually similar paintings titled Conversations with the Ego I, II, and III. McCormick-Isom utilizes surrealist-like imagery to present a battle of self-reflection. Bringing the viewer into a setting reminiscent of a dream that incorporates natural elements, McCormick-Isom’s work emphasizes growth and introspection.

John Cole Warner, a senior art major and architectural studies minor, presents his clay pieces, created with a specific method called slip casting. Warner has grown up creating art and has been taking pottery classes for many years; after graduation he plans on continuing his studies to become an architect.

Warner explained the driving force behind his work in an email interview.

“My process is pretty all over the place and intuitive, so it’s difficult to nail down any specific inspiration,” Warner said. “However, most of my work resembles natural forms, so nature could be seen as my inspiration.”

“I’m primarily focused on creating unique spaces with my forms, so space is my major theme within my work,” said Warner.

Although proud of all of his work, Warner said that his Frankenstein 8 piece is the one that he finds to be the most visually appealing.

Around the corner is the work of Bella Peters, a senior psychology and studio art double major and ALE minor. Peters has a variety of her chalk pastel works included in the exhibition. Peters’ work seems to tackle an inner dichotomy. The use of warm tones and the blending of chalk pastels create thematically and technically striking works.

Kate Nuelle, senior art and art history major and visual contributor for the Trinitonian, confronts humans’ relationship to technology in her three large photographs and three imagined receipts from Google, Amazon and Facebook. Nuelle’s photographs evoke a somber mood towards the relationship between self and technology in a captured space that seems elsewhere and here at once. I was both startled and found comical relief in Nuelle’s imagined receipts — these are worth taking a close look at.

Finally, Stephen Sumrall-Orsak, a senior art major and film studies minor, has contributed his work through a variety of mediums — wood sculpture, sound, video projections, photography and cyanotype printing.

In an email interview, Sumrall-Orsak explained that he was most proud of his work Paradoxical Echo, a microphone set in front of a large piece of basswood carved into an oversized human ear.

“My goal in the creation of this piece is to demonstrate the beauty of the raw wood finish and the meditative quality of mark making left by shaping the piece by hand. Conceptually the piece and concept were created in response to a growing frustration with global politics. My frustration stemmed from a feeling that people had stopped being attentive to the needs and concerns of others. I therefore created a piece which turned hearing into speaking. A microphone takes spoken words or sounds and projects them back at the viewer,” said Sumrall-Orsak.

Sumrall-Orsak explained that his work confronts a variety of themes he encountered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — including stagnation, routine, repetition, politics, natural beauty, and the passing of time.

“I am inspired by the intersection of tradition and contemporary culture. I like to think of the world including myself within a continuum of practices and technology which have morphed into society as we know it today. I utilize craft process in much of my work favoring a slower process of making. I see these practices as a rejection of today’s rapid culture and a celebration of the time-consuming process of creating,” Sumrall-Orsak said.

Sumrall-Orsak plans to continue his art practice after graduation to build his portfolio for earning a Master of Fine Arts.

Support student artists by checking out their work in this show before it ends on May 22; all campus COVID-19 policies must be strictly adhered to.