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Students showcase creative work in annual art show

From graphic design to 3-D sculpture to oil paintings, the annual student art show exhibits the varied creativity of Belmont students. Jurors chose from hundreds of pieces, selecting only the best, which showcased a wide range of skills and media types.

One participant in the show, Christian St Clair, had five pieces displayed in the exhibition. Though he had successfully submitted work before, this was the first time so many of his pieces made it.

St Clair, a fifth-year design communications major, created most of his mixed media pieces during a summer internship. When he didn’t have work to do, he would print photographs and draw on them. That evolved into his process of adding black lines to photos digitally and then using various mediums such as oil pastels, pencils and solvents on printed copies.

His five pieces in the show – “Paradise #1-4” and “Coin” – are centered on a theme of a human element of chaos and surrealism, said St Clair of the motive behind his work.

“As I was looking at these old photos, I realized that a lot of them are vacation destinations or where people used to vacation during the ‘60s, but no one is happy,” said St Clair.

 St Clair created four of the pieces during his summer internship and the fifth specifically for entry in the exhibition.

Entrance into the exhibition pushed another student, Autumn Horwath, in a similar way.

“I had it in mind. I keep a sketchbook all the time and whenever I get inspiration I just jot it down. Since I’ve been student teaching, I haven’t had time to make any art, so the show just kind of forced me to make something,” said Horwath.

Horwath is a fifth-year art education major. Though she generally has not worked with paint before – most of her work has been in sculpture – she used paint as well as a Robert Rauschenberg-inspired use of found objects in the piece featured in the student art exhibition.

The piece, titled “Disposition,” is more of an experimental style, said Horwath. It consists of a painted canvas with a wooden stool painted to blend into the piece in the background. Seated atop the stool is a wire figure.

“It’s a self-portrait, less in appearance and more in character and personality,” said Horwath. “The title means your stance and how you view things. I’m more likely to sit back and observe until I have to interact, so the figure is translucent until you get closer and see the details. It’s not what you see at first.”

Smith stressed the importance of the act of creation. He said even those who didn’t get into the show did something great just by making something.

“It was a great privilege to view everyone’s work,” he said. “Keep making things. Start. It’s the only way we will all get better.”

The annual student art show is open to submissions from students in any department at Belmont University. This year, the selected works will be on display until Feb. 12.

Article and video by Naomi Bartlett. 

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