This March, McDaniel’s College Dept. of Art and Art History presented its Honors Exhibition Show
in Rice Gallery featuring the works of four senior honors art students: Jordan Beans, Hannah Mathews,
Kara Owens, and Jess Oros.
Each artist had a few moments of the floor to themselves to introduce their collection of works,
and describe their inspiration and the processes behind creating them. Altogether the different mediums
included mixed media sculptures, photography, drawing, printmaking and other forms of media.
In Jess Oros’ collection there was a variety of monochromatic, mostly 3D works. Her mixed
media sculptures were compelling and made from recognizable common materials like ripped paper and
dental floss. Other pieces were more conceptual and even interactive such as, “Build Me 123” in which
a pile of all white puzzle pieces sat atop a black pedestal waiting for the viewer to construct them into a
Oros described 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 also worked with a variety of mediums 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.
Personally Mathews finds the concept of “church” to tie in closely with depression as she finds it
often makes “any sacred place seem impossible.” Mathews explored this approach and different ideas
but ultimately said, “I try to find the tangible experiences that illuminate the sacred in everyday life.” The
process of which, she says, allows the kind of spiritual connection she seeks.
A series of highly rendered charcoal portraits of people “caught unawares” was 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 in 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 also, she said, 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 all were detailed close ups of individual body parts essential to
dancing such as the feet, hands, knees and core.
In contrast, the other half of her works were black line drawings on white paper of women in
different dance poses that showcased their strength rather than the ‘fairy-like gracefulness’ women
dancers are sometimes thought to portray.