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The art department will host a public reception 5-6:30 p.m. today for “Expanding Horizons,” an exhibition of works by four seniors pursuing honors in studio art, in the Grossman Gallery of the Williams Visual Arts Building.

The event is free and open to the public. The exhibit is on display through Sunday, May 25.

The student artists featured in the exhibit are art majors Kira Stackhouse (Easton, Pa.), Wendy Van Raalte (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Elida Terry (West Hartford, Conn.), and Chris Damiano (Easton, Pa.).

Stackhouse’s art combines video and installation into a piece that encompasses the personal, private, and public.

“Through my work, I intend to comment on the social values of privacy and the emotions that are perpetuated when one’s privacy is invaded,” she says. “The desire to look and know are two other ideas present in my work. My piece is intended to involve the viewer in an interactive environment that suggests and comments on the idea of one’s being watched. The environment is also a social commentary on the values that are held within gender roles and how those roles interact in our desire to look.”

Van Raalte has spent the past year studying the art of graphic design and its history. She decided to meet the need for a concise guide to its history and styles.

“My honors thesis presents a brief overview of the history of the discipline of graphic design,” she says. “The brochure I have written and designed is directed to beginning graphic design students as a reference guide to the major movements in graphic design and the leading artists/designers of each movements. By creating this brochure, I have learned about the history of graphic design as well as the need for attention to the details of design, such as physical structure and subtleties of typography, to create an effective communication vehicle.”

Terry’s work was inspired by realities reflected in a 1995 psychology study that found three minutes spent looking at models in a fashion magazine caused 70 percent of women to feel depressed, guilty, and shameful. Believing that most magazines – riddled with articles such as “The Knockout Look Guaranteed to Make His Jaw Drop” – lack the content that 21st century women deserve, Terry created one that is a hybrid of mainstream women’s magazines and feminist theory. The publication is geared to women from 18-24 years old, seeking to make them feel confident, optimistic, and inspired.

“My thesis solves the paradox of two seemingly opposed philosophical positions,” she says. “The articles that I have selected help promote a positive message for women. The design plan that I have developed aids in visually expressing the content and tone of each article. The ultimate goal of my thesis is to create a magazine that women my age would actually read, understand, and enjoy.”

Believing that they reveal much about people, Damiano has made hands the primary subject of her book art.

“As an artists, primarily a printmaker, I believe that the sense of touch is important when selecting paper, applying ink, or feeling the texture of an etching plate,” she says. “I was also attracted to book art for that reason – it made art touchable. There is an intimacy when handling an artist’s book that is often discouraged in other art forms.”

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call the gallery at 330-5828.

Categorized in: Academic News