As senior art students prepare for their final exhibition at UIW, they are contemplating their futures. “Who do you want to be? That’s the big question for the show,” says Kathy Vargas, associate professor of art. It is at the heart of “Signatures,” the art department’s senior capstone show, which brings together the drawings, photographs and paintings in an exhibition at the Semmes Gallery.
This annual show is one of the students’ first forays into the professional art world. Having prepared their work for showing, curated a guest list of local art scene players, penned artists’ statements and considered how to present
their pieces, it’s as much a showcase of their newly honed professional skills as it is their artistic talents.
“You never know who is going to come to an exhibit that you are in,” says Miguel Cortinas, associate professor of art and department chair.
Over the years, the exhibit has been visited by collectors, journalists, gallery owners and curators interested in the art and artists. Some students may even choose to make their works available for sale, taking another step toward professional artistry.
The final days of college can be bittersweet for students and for faculty members who have helped them cultivate their work and begin their careers. But for Vargas, moving on is part of the artist’s process.
“I tell them, if we have done our jobs and trained you well, and you keep working, we will see you again, but as fellow artists,” she says. “My hope is that you don’t remain students, you become peers.”
Don’t Miss It
Signatures: Senior Capstone Exhibition
Opening Reception, Friday, May 4, 6-8 p.m.,
Exhibit on display through Thursday, May 31.