Ten seniors join forces for art exhibit

April 8, 2010

PLAINVIEW – Finishing up a bachelor’s degree in college is an accomplishment for anyone. But for 10 seniors at Wayland Baptist University, it also means wrapping up their artistic careers on the campus with a senior art exhibit and practicum.

The experience means bearing heart and soul for many of the young artists, who up until now have primarily shared their work with a few family and friends and their art teacher, Dr. Candace Keller, professor of art and curator of Wayland’s Abraham Art Gallery. But beginning April 17, the work of the 10 will be on display for the public as they present a combined Senior Art Show in the gallery, on exhibit through May 7. A reception for the artists is planned from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, April 17.

The show will feature varied media from the artists, whose backgrounds and life stories are as varied as the works they will display. The exhibit includes work from Daniel Arnold, Tim Barnes, Machelle Carden, Ana Edelstein, Kimber Edwards, Daurie Harris, Hyla Merrifield, John Palmer, Heather Shiloh and Cheryl Wilson.

“This year we have another large group of talented young artists graduating, and they will participate collectively in the design and installation of their practicum exhibition in the Abraham Art Gallery,” said Keller. “These art students are from wide-ranging locations and diverse backgrounds, and for each artist, this will represent their first professional solo exhibition. From here some plan to pursue careers in graphic design, photography, some plan to teach, and others have been accepted into programs of graduate art studies. This is an exceptional group of individuals who will go on to do great things.”

Arnold is a senior art major from Waxahachie, transferring to Wayland in 2008 after completing an associate’s degree from Cedar Valley Community College in Dallas. An English minor, Arnold said he prefers to create surreal imagery in his work.

“I take ideas from various photographs and put them together in a surrealistic fashion,” he said. “I try to achieve a dreamlike state that is not rational in composition.”

Barnes, a senior art major from Tulia, plans to work in the graphic design field. A drummer for Stonebridge Fellowship and the BSM worship service Synergy, Barnes also plans to continue his musical involvement after graduation. Through his work, Barnes said he hopes to send powerful messages.

“My expression through art has been influenced by my faith, attempting to create something that will encourage, change, or simply show that there is more to life than us,” he said. “I receive inspiration from daily living and the joys and battles we all face.”

Carden is a Plainview native who earned an associate’s degree in legal assistant from South Plains College before opting to change her career path. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in counseling and earn her Licensed Professional Counselor certification to practice art therapy. She is a mother of three and grandmother of five.

Working in a variety of media, Carden said she enjoys the freedom that art gives her to express emotions, thoughts and experiences as an outlet.

A native of Arlington, senior art major Edelstein prefers photography for her artwork though she will have exhibit pieces in a few other media. Titling her show “The Eye of the Beholder,” Edelstein said she enjoys photographing animals and landscapes, particularly mountain scenes.

“I’ve always been amazed by God’s beauty in nature,” she said.

Plainview native Edwards, also an art major, titled her show “Abundantly Estranged,” noting her outlet in artwork.

“I like to experiment with mediums and mainly do art for my own therapy,” she said. “I get my emotions out there when I create. There’s really no limit to what can happen, and my work usually involves whatever I’m thinking about and whatever comes out first. I get pretty absorbed in my work.”

Harris is an English major and art minor from Perryton who shared Edwards’ sentiments to some degree by titling her show “The Outlet.”

“I just paint what I’m going through and let my emotions come out (in my work) rather than verbalizing them,” she said.

Merrifield is a native of Sudan who moved to Arizona in 2000.There, she began pursuing her art interest and painted several wall murals in the community. That experience inspired her to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming an art teacher and professional artist, sending her back to the college classroom.

At Wayland, she has worked in various media, though her works share the element of emotions experienced by humans.

“Demonstrating emotion in a composition can be difficult, but can also give the viewer a glimpse into the artist’s heart,” she said.

Merrifield credits her husband of 19 years and her three children for the support and inspiration to accomplish her goals and follow her dream.