Senior College Art Show
0 On display in gallery
        First, I want to start with I am so, so very grateful for everyone who was able to come and support my senior show in person. The amount of love I felt was overwhelming at times, but it was so amazing; and I could not be more blessed.

        It's been a long journey to this point, and honestly, I'm so very glad it's over. It's a huge amount of stress I no longer have to deal with. I'm so incredibly proud of how everything turned out, and I am currently in the process of getting each piece professionally photographed so I can eventually make prints. So, here it is. This is my senior show.

        I create these compositions because they are fun and nice and illustrative. They are images you could see in a children’s book. However, through the mixture of watercolor and ink with scattered elements of collage and thread, what you are truly seeing is a snapshot into my mind. Each one of these whimsical landscapes, while they exist in this altered-reality type of world, are compositions combined from personal life experiences, places I have been and things I have seen. Art does not always have to be dark to wrestle with hard topics. Lost, Escape and Fantasy are ways to get away, but ultimately, I find myself stranded and overwhelmed by anxiety, guilt and shame, wrestling with hard questions. Release, Solace and Clarity are places of importance, places and instances where I started to gain pieces of an understanding that pushed me past myself. Mirage and Wonder are empty but hopeful because there is a place of return and a place for community. The Rescue is the piece that started it all, the only piece with small silhouette people. I cannot rescue myself. Every other situation I can find myself in alone, but in order to be rescued, truly and fully rescued, there have to be two parties. There is one party running out time, trying to bail themselves out from the hole taking them down. There is a second party coming out of the light towards them, trying to get their attention and help them if only they would notice. I am the first party always priding myself to be the strong one and bail myself out; God is the second party telling me He is there and always coming for me to be the strong one and pull me out of the mess I have made because He already paid the price to bail me out.

        One sentence brought it all together. This is the story of resilience, of balance. The process is messy, and the artist messier; but the center is powerful. God is our rescue. He is eager and willing and ready to be so, whenever we are ready to accept the beautiful gift He extends to us. I am not all the way there yet, and these pieces are my struggle leading up to when it all finally clicked together one rough night after a bad day at work and a tense apartment environment to come back to. As I cried out to God in a hideaway corner of campus, I found the understanding I had been missing. We always talk about hills and valleys as if they are these long seasons that last for a while, at least more than a couple weeks. What we do not focus on is the difference between a hill and a valley could be as short as an hour and then switch back just as fast. Life does not stop moving because things finally click for us. We just become more drawn to this concept that this is bigger than us and our strength is no match for the whiplash. God is ready to rescue us and guide us through the hills and valleys that cause different levels of often unequal balance in our life. The moon followed me that night as I walked back towards my problems and away from the peace of my stolen hideaway. A guiding light, a reminder that no matter the hill or valley, light is always coming from somewhere because God is always there with you. It is an active choice on our part whether or not we see Him in the void of success or failure. We just need to take the hand reaching out to us and let Him be our rescue.

The sentence that brought it all together: 

        God, Thank You for being my solace, my clarity, and my release for when I am lost, when I cannot see through the fantasy and when I feel the suffocating need to escape; You help me see through the mirage and find Your wonder and show me You will always be my Rescue.

        Each piece, except the center piece, has a partner piece. The whole essence of the show relies on the messy nature of balance. Clarity is the counterpart to Fantasy. We have to confront our fantasy to find the clarity of our surroundings. Release is the counterpart to Lost. Sometimes, we get lost and through that we find our point of release. Solace is the counterpart to Escape. There are times when we may need to escape in order to find our solace in life. Mirage and Wonder tie in together. We have to find a way to see through the projected mirage to see the true wonder that exists in our everyday. The Rescue III is my centerpiece and is what the entire show is based around. Life isn't an easy walk in the park. There are positives and negatives that come oftentimes come with the same situation and the same wave of reality. It's how we see things and what we base our experiences on that determine where we week our rescue and our center of balance. Here is some further explanation into the thought and emotion behind each individual piece I created for this show.

1 Fantasy


Have you ever needed to believe a fantasy so much that everything else in your life ceased to matter or even exist? Everything fades away as you grasp onto this alternate reality with white knuckled hands because let’s face it, life is better in your head than in the natural realm. You can erase the pain and hatred in your head, but you are now in danger of forgetting your humanity as you head farther into the horizon than is reachable by human hands.

2 Clarity


When we zoom in and focus on one distinct place, one distinct memory, is it possible to see ourselves again? Once we have found ourselves at a point where we can see everything for miles, can we finally see ourselves clearly? At a point, we have to step away from everything we have built for ourselves and knock down every pre-existing image we have ever believed in and truly look at who we are and what defines us as a person. When everything else is stripped away, what would someone see in your clarity?

3 Lost


Have you ever felt so lost that the solid around you seemed unreachable? There was nothing you could do to steer yourself out of the hopeless situation you were stuck int. You were trying to find your way, but all the land around you looked exactly the same. You were stranded without a paddle and without a direction to go. You are totally, completely, helplessly adrift, and there is nothing within your human might that can get you back on track.

4 Release


At what point have we piled everything up so much that we just erupt? Where do you go to find your peace in letting go? Everyone needs to have a place where they can sit, exist and yell at the sky. Where can you cry and not feel weak? Where do you find yourself when you need a release?

5 Escape


Have you ever wanted to escape so badly that the only thing that matters is the road taking you away from what you are running from? You don’t think about damages to yourself or others as you turn to flee as far down the road as you can get before it ends. The destination doesn’t matter. The means by which to get there don’t matter. The numbness you create in your soul doesn’t matter, as long as you can detach yourself away from the earthly fight you wake up to everyday.

6 Solace


Where do you look to find your center? You have the ability to focus on the sky and look at the stars and just breathe. You can never count all the stars in the sky, and yet someone else could be finding comfort in them at the same time as you. Stars are always present as long as there is a night for them to exist in. Stars can’t exist without darkness to shine through. There is solace in the idea that the sky and observation of it links us to every other being on the planet.

7 Mirage


Can you truly see through the mirage you’ve created in your life? Can you see past the borders of what society wants you to focus on in your life? Is there even a landing point of common ground where you have a hope of return to humanity? Do you truly understand what it takes to hand over the fight and see past yourself?

8 Wonder


Have you lost your childlike wonder? Is there any innocence that gives way to an unaltered hope of true community? Can you see past the walls and prejudices that society has set and instead just live together in a calming peace? Is being one communal body possible, or I am just naïve?

9 The Rescue III

"The Rescue III" 

You can’t rescue yourself. You can try, but you will probably break yourself in the process. There is a humility in accepting you can’t be your own Savior. That’s why God doesn’t leave us to fend by ourselves. We struggle so much to find a balance in our overwhelming emotions and bail ourselves out at the same time, when we could just accept God reaching out of the light to save us from ourselves and save us the heartbreak. Are you ready to find balance and resilience through Him and ultimately accept your rescue?