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Light in the Attic: 2009 Senior Thesis Exhibition Opens at the University of Richmond Museums and Artspace Gallery

RICHMOND, VA.- Light in the Attic: 2009 Senior Thesis Exhibition is on view concurrently in two locations, from April 17 to May 8, 2009, at the Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond Museums, and April 24 to May 17, 2009, at Artspace Gallery @ Plant Zero, Richmond. The senior thesis exhibition is the capstone experience for graduating studio art majors in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Richmond. This year's exhibition includes art works by Ashley Davis, Sara Perkins, Dan Shoemaker, and Emily Viviani.

Artists' Statements:

Ashley Davis: This body of work highlights the communication issues present in my life and within our society; we are constantly inundated with information, receiving ideas from the media, from our family and friends, our communities, etc. What I find interesting is the way in which this information is filtered. Much of what I believe and value is a direct result of my family and my social environment. To an extent, they determine what I see, learn, and experience.

Sara Perkins: In my work, earthly realities refer to larger realities of the supernatural world. I employ the visual language of art to highlight the dialogue between these realities; using natural symbols to represent that which transcends absolute cognitive understanding. By allowing the seen to point to that which is unseen, I hope to re-imbue a sense of awe and wonder into the lives of my fellow post-moderns.

Dan Shoemaker: My works strive to cohere my fascination with modern media culture, classical cinema, peculiar pop music, Eastern and existential philosophy, and the elastic definition of the word "reality." Pitting montage against meditation, experience is presented, not as a logical series of events or a sequential narrative, but as a chronology of moments that, neither minute nor landmark, forge on, loop, slow, and skew, before fading in an oft perused, rarely focused cinema memory.

Emily Viviani: When I create art, I am not trying to relay an image or even a message. Instead, I am trying to insinuate a sentiment, induce déjà vu, or spark a narrative. People are constantly and unknowingly manipulated by the images and text they ingest and their adopted identities are partially a response to circumstance and experience. In this work I wanted to explore the ambiguous space between author and reader as it relates to the relationship between protagonist and spectator.

The studio art majors work throughout their senior year to prepare for this exhibition. In the fall, the students focus on creating a cohesive body of work that supports a developed thesis. The spring semester is spent organizing the exhibition by completing their artwork, refining artist and thesis statements, documenting their artwork, applying for fellowships, and engaging in critiques. The yearlong course was taught by Tanja Softic' and Mark Rhodes, Associate Professors of Art, Department of Art and Art History, University of Richmond.

Throughout the undergraduate studio art program, students are required to take classes in a variety of media. By their senior year, each student has a diverse portfolio of work and has begun to develop a personal style. The senior thesis class provides an opportunity for the students to use what they have learned to create their own work and present it in a professional manner. The art produced for the senior thesis class is created specifically for the final exhibition.

Light in the Attic was organized by the University of Richmond Museums and the Department of Art and Art History in collaboration with Artspace Gallery.

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