Student Exhibition: Warner Theatre (141-147 High Street)

Various Artists, Fairmont State University Art Students

About: This exhibition is a grouping of works from eight undergraduate students enrolled in the Studio Art program at Fairmont State University. This collection serves as a visual dialogue, engaging the viewer in a thoughtful exploration of the artistic process. The challenge lies not only in the mastery of materials but also in the courage to question and redefine the very essence of what constitutes contemporary painting in our ever-changing world.

Curator: Joel Dugan, Chair of Fairmont State University Department of Architecture Art & Design.

Artists: Zara Harold, Hannah Sprout, Bee Spevock, Dylan Allum, Jaztyn Messina, and Jasper White

Zara Harold
Judy (2023)
Oil on Hardboard

Women feel vast social pressure that has been instilled through centuries of patriarchal domination. These works illustrate man’s lust and desire for a “perfect” woman; one who is slim, with large breasts, does not talk back, and most importantly, is always ready to please him. The only way to truly be perfect in a man’s eyes is to be an inanimate object, a sexual toy just for him. My work is inspired by my own experiences with men and often feeling like the only way to keep their attention is through sex. These experiences are represented through the 90s blow-up doll, Judy. Judy represents the humor and reality of being the ideal woman: to be fetishized and objectified.

My artwork reminds women of the tribulations of the world and let men understand some of the feelings and experiences of women. The pieces play on a comparison of humorous images but with a stark and real meaning. Viewers experience the bitter reality of humor and horror as Judy explores womanhood, from being scrubbed clean to making ends meet. Judy lets you see just what perfection means.

 

Hannah Sprout
Boundaries (2023)
Oil on Canvas

Anxiety, depression, and mental disorders are all commonly discussed and visualized in highly dramatized manners of extreme emotional distress. However, anxiety and depression appear in much more subtle ways prior to, during, and after severe breakdowns. My work attempts to show these subtle changes, actions, and emotions that individuals experience while struggling with mental disorders at varying ages.
This body of works focus on themes of anxiety, mental breakdowns, inner turmoil, and figural works. I am drawn to these concepts since they resonate with me and those who experience them. My works focus on Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depression Disorder and how symptoms associated with each disorder take a toll on the everyday lives of individuals that I render. Building upon this my research into how color affects our mood led me to decide to strip this body of works of color to further convey the weight mental disorders and their symptoms hold over individuals struggling with them.
The lack of color also forces the viewer to be face-to-face with the figure in each piece and become more aware of their emotions, body language, and potential thoughts. This closeness allows for the viewer to relate to and sympathize with the individual as they experience whatever thoughts or mental disorders may be weighing them down. Further supporting this close relationship with the viewer, the background is less detailed and sometimes cloudy or blurry, allowing the viewer to focus primarily on the individual and not where they may be within the space.

Bee Spevock
Bee-Sting (2024)
Mixed Media on Paper

Dylan Allum
At the Ledge (2023)
Oil on Canvas

Inherited Trauma (2023)
Oil on Canvas

The work focuses on the trauma one might encounter or have to endure while growing up in this day of age. In my eyes I feel that some of the traumatic events faced while growing up are more normalized than they should be. People have become too numb to school shootings, mental health issues, bullying, drug abuse, etc. Some parents have a mind-set of that won’t happen to my kids because that only happens in big cities or “my child would never do that.” Ultimately, these events could be happening right in front of them, but their child is hiding their feelings; Or is too worried of what people might think so they don’t address the state of mind they are in.

 

Bee Spevock
Space and Time (2023)
Oil on Canvas

 

Jaztyn Messina
Pluck (2023)
Oil on Panel

Serene (2023)
Oil on Panel

Self (2022)
Oil on Canvas

 

Jasper White
At a Distance 2 (2023)
Oil and Fabric on Panel


Acknowledgements: Thank you to WV Women Work, City of Morgantown, and Mark Downs