On Feb. 22, Baldwin Wallace’s Studio Art seniors capped off four years of work with the opening of the annual Studio Art Senior Exhibition.
The exhibition features the work of all four graduating seniors, and spans a variety of mediums, including oils, photography, and ceramics. Senior Lilly Buttitta, whose oil paintings are on display in the gallery, says preparation for the exhibit has been a focus since she first arrived at BW.
“We…choose a medium and think about how to create a cohesive body of work with stuff that [we] enjoy, or stuff that’s important to [us],” said Buttitta. “We kind of start thinking about that our first three years, and then we really bring it to completion in our senior year.”
The exhibition is a required capstone for all Studio Art seniors and takes place as part of their senior seminar course.
Professor Paul Jacklitch, who has been at BW for 34 years and co-teaches the seminar course with Professor Steven Ziebarth, says before the creation of the seminar class almost 10 years ago, the exhibition lacked the professionalism and cohesion it now possesses.
“[Before] there was nothing really directing that. They would typically just choose their best work…and then hang it up,” said Jacklitch. “Because of that, the work was kind of a hodge-podge, and stuff they’d do in class, not specifically a cohesive body of work…We saw a need to build a course into the major. So we redirected, redesigned…[Now], students that didn’t go through it say they wish they would have.”
Art department office manager Rich Cihlar, a gradute of BW’s Studio Art Program in 2002, said that in addition to helping students build a body of work, the exhibition helps prepare seniors for work after graduation by teaching them the logistics of hanging their own gallery.
“For those pursuing fine art as a career, some galleries will hang shows for you, some shows you have to hang yourself,” explained Cihlar. “The way we hung this particular exhibition is called 60 on center. It’s a very traditional style where everything is hung exactly…very professional.”
Cihlar says the exhibition will also give some Studio Art students their first encounter with the business side of the art world.
“For the first time tomorrow, some of these seniors are going to be faced with potential clients. People will come to see their work, but there’s also a chance people may buy their work,” said Cihlar. “It introduces some new social entities and business opportunities and the start of becoming an entrepreneur because, when you graduate, you no longer have faculty telling you what to do or classes telling you what to do. You’re your own boss, you’re your own manager, and you’re your own motivation.”
The exhibition runs through March 22 in Fawick Art Gallery at Kleist Center for Art & Drama.