Seniors to present artwork in Abraham Gallery

Wayland Baptist University senior art majors David Sanders and Julian Vasquez will have their work on display through Dec. 13 in the Abraham Art Gallery on the Wayland campus.

The exhibition partially fulfills the requirements for senior art majors in completing a practicum project. But it also has more benefit for the student, according to Dr. Candace Keller, associate professor of art at Wayland.

"The process of creating visual art is not complete without the experience of showing the works to an audience. Just as music written must be played to be fully experienced or a dramatic play must be presented to an audience to complete the cycle of creation, a visual artist must present his works to be viewed, experienced and reacted to," Keller said. "The senior art practicum exhibition is usually the first solo exhibition experience for university art students, and it gives them the opportunity to receive feedback from a larger audience on the veracity of their concepts and ideas."

Sanders' work reflects his interest in how the popular culture has influenced Christians and how Christianity has adopted some of the marketing techniques of pop culture to present itself to this generation. He presents a visual investigation of images and ideas taken from what the world has to offer and repackaged with a Christian label. Sanders is serving as minister to youth at Trinity Baptist Church in Lubbock, and many of his questions and ideas come from his work with young people. He is also a father to three sons under age 5, and much of his drawing and watercolor work presents Christian themes in symbolic and cartoon-like imagery.

"I am an artist. But before I am an artist, I am a Christian," Sanders said. "My prayer is that I might be able to use my art as a means of communicating the word of God through visual mediums."

Sanders said his artwork serves three purposes: to create in honor to God, to provide a means of self-exploration and to provide a message to others.

"I feel that what I produce is a visual delivering of the Word of God. My prayer is that, through any given work, the Spirit will speak to the heart of a specific viewer in a specific way," Sanders said.

A native of Plainview, Vasquez presents work with focus and values that are easily accessible in the patriotic imagery dealing with September 11, and images of family, faith and the current concerns of American culture. His work is inspired by the immediate realities of his own family, his community and his culture, and the events of life we all experience in common. Vasquez also works with youth as a substitute teacher and his goal upon graduation is to teach art in the public schools.

"I love to draw and to paint, and my work explores a variety of subjects," Vasquez said. "I always relate my work to what I feel or to events that are occurring in the world."

Vasquez credits famed artists Norman Rockwell and Michelangelo, who used great detail in their artwork, with inspiring his own work. He works heavily in watercolor but also works in acrylic, preferring darker colors and strong contrasts to make images stand out.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during regular gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The gallery is located in the Mabee Learning Resources Center on the Wayland campus in Plainview.