Artwork by graduating Wright State fine arts students graces walls of Stein Galleries

The Stein Galleries will host a reception for the Senior Thesis Exhibition, featuring works by 16 graduating fine arts students, on Sunday, April 14, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Fine art routinely graces the walls of the Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries in Wright State University’s Creative Arts Center, but this time of year the gallery features works that are special in their own way.

In the gallery’s upper level are scores of paintings, photographs, prints, drawings and sculptures by 16 graduating fine art students in the annual Senior Thesis Exhibition.

The exhibition is the culmination of the students’ academic careers, a graduation requirement for Wright State’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art program and provides other valuable lessons.

The Senior Thesis Exhibition is on display through April 27. The gallery will host a reception on Sunday, April 14, from 3 to 5 p.m.

The exhibition is open for public viewing during gallery hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. The gallery is closed Sundays and Mondays.

The exhibition is curated by Kim Vito, professor of art and head of printmaking, and Benjamin Montague, associate professor in photography, in the School of Fine and Performing Arts.

“There’s quite a bit of work in this show,” Montague said. “It takes up the entire second floor of the gallery.”

“Block Tower,” by Sarah Williams, who has seven works in the Senior Thesis Exhibition.

“For the students, it’s a great way to showcase the work they’ve done,” he said, “and it’s a really good culminating experience.”

“For some students,” Vito said, “this is the first time they have participated in a gallery exhibition. It gives them a solid foundation of what to expect from other venues in the future.”

Each student submitted up to 10 pieces that the fine arts faculty reviewed and selected for the exhibition.

“Some will frame their work and others take their work somewhere to have it professionally framed,” Vito said. “Faculty provide feedback and offer workshops, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional, to demonstrate how to present the work in a professional manner. After this is complete, the seniors are required to hang their work in the gallery space, learning and using the standards required for hanging and presenting artwork in a professional space.”

The learning opportunities through the exhibition are not lost on the seniors whose work is featured.

“It’s a very cool experience to have your work professionally matted and framed and to hang it in a gallery yourself,” said Victoria Chapman, a fine arts major with a concentration in photography from Urbana.

“It’s good knowledge to have,” said Chapman, who has five photos exhibited.

“I’m jazzed to have my art in the Stein Galleries,” said Sarah Williams, a fine arts major with a painting concentration from Dayton. She has seven works displayed.

“Each piece was worked and reworked until a form appeared that felt real or solid or just good to me,” she said. “I’ve been leaning into the idea that art is more about finding something and less about making something.”

While other creative art disciplines showcase their students through their performances, Montague said, the Senior Thesis Exhibition shows what the fine arts program is capable of. “We have students who create things,” he said.

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