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Senior studio art students give new life to ghosts

It may sound spooky at first, but Lord Hall Gallery’s most recent collection of works, the 2015 Senior Art Exhibition, “Ghosts of Carnegie Hall,” has been one that the artists involved will never forget.

The exhibit is themed around mortality, and many of the pieces display parts of the human body and use dark colors and shadows to represent emotions associated with death.

Fourteen students enrolled in the University of Maine’s capstone course for studio art prepared and displayed their projects in the Lord Hall Gallery. The types of projects that were on display included watercolor paintings, sculptures made from welded steel, acrylic on canvas and photography.

“It took the entire semester,” fourth-year studio art student Mckenzie Thibeault said. “It was really cool to see it come to life after an entire semester of planning for it.” She also noted that many of the artists worked up until the opening of the exhibition, with one artist finishing only hours before.

Thibeault finds motivation in her professor, James Linehan, who always tells his students that “It’s a marathon, not a race,” when referring to the process of creating art.

“I would be in the studio until three in the morning just polishing and getting it ready,” fifth-year psychology and studio art student Shannon Scarlett said. “It’s very time consuming.”

“I was a psychology major for my first three years of college,” Scarlett added. “When I picked up my second major, I came to realize how hard studio art is.”

Besides working on their art projects, students also put together statements about their pieces to give further detail about what inspired them. One student said she was inspired to use acrylic to paint a picture she had taken of her brother on a bridge only a few hours after the funeral service for her beloved grandfather.

“For me, the original image has come to embody the memory of that day,” her statement said, “and I wanted to recreate it into a painting in order to capture the emotion of that moment.

Many studio art classes are held in the Wyeth Studio Art Center, which is located in the Innovative Media, Research and Commercialization Center. The art program believes the annual exhibit shows studio art majors how to get the public to see their work.

The exhibition closed this past Friday, but artists like Thibeault and Scarlett are hopeful that it helped them and their fellow classmates get noticed by the public.
“I wish there was another one,” Thibeault said.

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