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Laconic Libations: A Senior Thesis Art Show

 April 30 was the start of Laconic Libations, the senior thesis art show, the opening reception was held at 4:15 outside the Wright Museum with plenty of tasty treats for before and after the viewing. The show presented theses from artists Maria G. Aschenbrener ‘21, Eva Haykin ‘21, Brooke McCammond ‘21, and Grace Zaffiro ‘21. The show was brought to us by the Art Department. All artists showed off plenty of their creative pieces that all invoke a specific aspect of their lives, and had the past nine months to do so. 

   Maria G. Aschenbrener shared a collection of embroidered clothes as well as photos and paintings. All of the pieces however were made for an interactive viewing experience, so all who walk by could touch the artwork presented. “I am an intuitive artist, which means I do a lot of my art with feelings rather than logic,” Aschenbrener mentions while starting up a project she tries to not focus on having it all planned out but to keep options open while in her creative process. Her work connects with her father and is a nod to his indigenous roots, the Huichol, in Mexico. The embroidery honors the heritage yet also leaves room for her self-discovery. She encourages people to interact with her art and bring their own stories while viewing.

   Eva Haykin gave personal reflections and experiences on the COVID-19 pandemic through the artwork presented to us. The pandemic was an overpowering part of our lives where we have seen and felt different things, but this installation gives a glimpse of a different perspective. Haykin’s favorite piece made for the thesis was the nose, however, it was very time-consuming and was all plaster and will be a medium avoided for the near future. Haykin also was awarded the Ellen Malsch award for having work that best represents Malsch’s thoughts on an artistic endeavor. By being in a constant state of seeking discoveries, invent, and manipulate with any artistic process.

   Brooke McCammond presented a series of oil paintings that express internal struggles with mental health. “I wanted to deal with something everyone could connect to on a universal level,” McCammond mentioned as the goal of her thesis was for the viewer to connect and take their trauma and conflicts for a further sense of identity. One of her pieces that she related to the most was the woman and chess pawn in the background, because of the duality of how a pawn is a crucial piece where they can be sacrificed or upgraded to become better. McCammond came to Beloit having not done painting before, but after time spent here, it was not too long until she fell in love with painting.

   Grace Zaffiro from Milwaukee showed off her vibrant textile-based exhibit which was all found and resourced materials. While she has always considered herself as a painter; in high school, Zaffiro was drawn to thread and embroidery flaws and stitching. She mentions that this past year there has been the most experimentation with the fiber arts. Zaffiro is a double major in both Studio Art and Psychology, and she finds creative ways to blend the two worlds in art. She sees art as a channel to help with stress and anxiety and values this part of the process, which is a part of self-therapy and having a meditative state.

   The reception could not ask for better weather as the sun shined on the great work these artists have developed. Laconic Libations will continue to be viewed inside the Wright Museum until May 30.


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