The 2022 fourth-year fine arts exhibition is making a physical return to East Campus Hall with Epilogue. The exhibition comprises the work of 24 fourth-year thesis fine arts students with a wide range of mediums and themes showcased. The title, Epilogue, usually associated with an ending or conclusion, is taken by the artists as an ending of a chapter and the beginning of the next — a clever nod to the conclusion of their time as undergraduates at UW while looking ahead to their future as artists.
The fate of Epilogue as a physical show was up in the air well into February, but students were determined to make it happen.
“The decision to have it in person, was for us to not happen in person. We were told in January that we will have only an online exhibition and we actually advocated against the fine arts department to have it in person… [When we found out] I was very I was overjoyed. I cried. I was really happy that we were allowed to present our work and have our family and friends and see university students come and visit,” said Madison Grineau, a fourth-year fine arts.
The importance of a physical show for the students is not solely on how their work is displayed and appreciated, but also in bringing the class together. For fourth-year fine arts student Natalie Rae Jeanson, it was her first time meeting her classmates in person after two years of interacting with them through a screen after transferring from Concordia University.
Jeanson’s installation, which mixes her graphic design and mixed media mediums, was actually encouraged by her friends and classmates who appreciated her doodles and pushed her to incorporate them into her more formal work. Her work placing her doodles on different mediums actually got a start in an earlier book project, and may now continue into another book based on this exhibit.
The exhibition is an opportunity for the students to have their work displayed prominently as well as learn about what it takes behind the scenes to put together an exhibition. The students form committees to work on all elements of the exhibit, from fundraising to website design and social media.
“From first year, it’s always talking about how this is what you get to do after four. You put in all this work and you get your own show. And as a student, we don’t really have that opportunity to have our piece in a gallery space like that,” said fourth-year Fine Arts and History student Maddie Davis. “Even being in the gallery, sitting at the desk, as I’ve been there, there have been a few different people that have come in and asked us questions about our work and talk to us and tell us what they felt when they see it and how they experienced it. And it’s been a really, really cool experience.”
Apart from the experience of putting on the show and seeing their pieces physically on display, there was a consensus that how the exhibit happened would, if not influence the piece they made, definitely influence how it is appreciated by the viewer.
“With sculptural and more three-dimensional pieces it really is different. Being able to see it in person or walk around it. In the space and sort of be part of the environment that it’s in. Definitely affects how you see it and it’s less of an issue with paintings and more two dimensional [pieces] but even with any kind of art, there really is so much difference but just in the environment of being very much sort of like immersed in the piece instead of just looking at it on a screen,” Davis said.
Epilogue runs from March 30 to April 10, Wednesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can also view the installations online as well as read about the artists taking part in the exhibit.
“I was really empowering the ideas of the innate feelings of fear and like fear of doing nothing. And being home and I work at a old folks home and I just see this cycle and even being home of people coming home, sitting down and watching TV. And it’s like that capitalistic view of like, you have that feeling you want to be doing something, but you’re not doing something.” Madison Grineau