McDaniel’s Art on Display: “amuse-bouche”

McDaniel’s College Dept. of Art and Art History presented its Honors Exhibition show, entitled “amuse-bouche,” featuring the works of senior art honors students Jordan Beans, Hannah Mathews, Kara Owens, and Jess Oros.

Each artist had a corner of the room to display their pieces, effectively filling the whole space. At 5:30, the artists individually introduced their art works, their inspiration for them, and some of the process behind making them. Altogether the different mediums include mixed media sculptures, photography, drawing, printmaking and other forms of media.

In Jess Oros’ collection there is a variety of monochromatic, mostly 3D, works. Her mixed media sculptures are compelling and made from recognizable common materials like ripped paper and dental floss. Other pieces are more conceptual and even interactive such as, “Build Me 123” in which a pile of all white puzzle pieces sit atop a black pedestal waiting for the viewer to construct them into a picture.

Oros describes her works as all centered around her “desire to reduce stress and retain balance” in her life. She does this by focusing on “systematic motions” and methods to create her art, and by using commonplace objects and materials which convey the routines of everyday life.

Hannah Mathews worked with many mediums as well including sound, video, darkroom photography, ink and muslin. She spoke about her works as all having a theme of “church,” which she explored by asking what it meant to different people, and where they found themselves closest to God.

Mathews ascertains the concept of “church” to tie in closely with depression as she finds it often makes “any sacred place seem impossible.” Mathews explores this approach and different ideas, but ultimately says, “I try to find the tangible experiences that illuminate the sacred in everyday life.” The process of which, she explains, allows the kind of spiritual connection she seeks.

A series of highly rendered charcoal portraits of people “caught unawares” is the work of Jordan Beans. She spoke of her inspiration coming from the quote: “character is who you are when no one is watching.”

This interested Beans through the idea of snapshots because they “catch people unawares” rather than portraits which allow people time to smile, strike a pose and adjust themselves in order to portray a more “perfect” image. The image of a snapshot, she says, becomes something greater as it shows a candid moment that is much more intimate and easy to relate to.

Kara Owens’ drawings were all inspired by dance. Half of her presented works were drawn with white conte crayon on black paper, and are detailed close ups of individual body parts essential to dancing such as the feet, hands, knees and core.

In contrast, the other half of Owens’ works are black line drawings on white paper of women in different dance poses that showcase their strength rather than the ‘fairy-like gracefulness’ women dancers are sometimes thought to portray.

If you want to see what’s being done in the art world at McDaniel or just need something to do, stop by and visit Rice Gallery! The exhibition will only be on display until Friday, March 30th and you will be amazed by the skill and creativity of McDaniel’s senior artists.