Armstrong’s Rising Artists: 6° of Separation

Jonathan Bradshaw showcases his work
Jonathan Bradshaw showcases his work.

By Jessica Bene, Staff Writer

An evening of photography, graphic design and ceramics filled the Fine Arts Gallery on Oct. 24. The show, entitled 6° of Separation, showcased the work of Britney Prince, Maria Hendre, Jonathan Bradshaw, Hoyt Ramey, A’shanae Monroe and Kyle Boatwright. All six students are graduating seniors from the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts programs at Armstrong.

This group was the first to showcase their final bodies of work and nerves were running high when the time came for their artist talks.

With each talk lasting 5-7 minutes, the artists got the chance to explain their work and their feelings and intentions behind it. At the end of the artist talks, the gallery was filled with relief, praise and discussion as attendees were able to talk to the artists one on one.

The most interesting part of the artist talks was hearing why each person chose to begin making art in the first place. Some, like Graphic Designer Maria Hendre, said they used art to work through emotions.

In some cases, the artists found more purpose to their artwork after studying their own work.

“I wanted these images to allow people to really look at the people they wouldn’t normally stop and stare at, and maybe notice something you couldn’t at a glance,” said Hoyt Ramey during his artist talk.

He began by photographing street musicians in Savannah and the project grew to include many of the characters we see daily downtown, but don’t really have the chance to study passing by on the sidewalk.

Britney Prince, a digital and mixed media artist, used her showcase to bring the struggles of same-sex couples to the spotlight.

“I wanted to take a satirical approach to Rockwell’s style and show that this issue [gay rights] is still present today in America,” said Prince.

One part of Britney’s showcase was her Rockwell-inspired digital paintings made to look like newspaper front pages. They highlighted scenes of same sex couples with a patriotic theme and slogans pinpointing specific struggles these couples face.

Jonathan Bradshaw, an artist specializing in raku and pit-fired ceramic art, showed his enthusiasm when asked about the fun and dangerous aspects of using a pit-firing technique. He combines many different elements in the pit to create unique patterns and colors, but as they say, beauty can be painful.

He said that while adding to the pit, a girl he was working with caught her hair on fire. Adding so many different things to the pit can also combine to create toxic fumes, so caution is important when around a hot pit.

Bradshaw’s favorite piece on display was the anatomically correct model of his bare foot.

All of the artists displayed stunning work, a product of the long hours that they all put into their individual bodies of work and in putting the event itself together. This first group of students have made the Fine Arts Department proud.