March 29, 2018
Art Students Roundtable
Whiting Room

Reflection | Video | Podcast | Photos

The SUU Art Department's Student exhibition launches this month in the beautiful SUMA art complex. Come to this event to hear the students speak about their, works, their inspirations and their art making and design processes.

Event Reflection

by Billy Clouse

At the second to last A.P.E.X. Event of the season, six art students sat down to discuss their work currently on display in the Southern Utah Museum of Art, as well as their creative process.

  • Sharilyn Shumway represented illustration
  • Melissa Kruger represented graphic design (general)
  • McKenzie Kragen represented graphic design (mobile app design)
  • Jordan Haskell represented graphic design (motion graphics)
  • Michelle Gray represented photography
  • Lissy Edwards represented ceramics and sculpture

The first step to creating art is finding an idea. The students all said that inspiration comes from a number of places, and Michelle added that there are times when you just have to power through and find inspiration. She has an Instagram account that she uses solely for photography, which allows her to scroll through pictures without getting distracted.

After finding inspiration, the artist must decide how to create the work, which varies by project. When Sharilyn is doing editorial illustration, she reads the article and makes a list of important features before she begins. For his BFA project, Jordan decided to stick with his instincts instead of starting over.

Next, the artist must know when to stop. Melissa said that although she doesn’t believe anything is truly finished, there comes a point when you can walk away from a work. Lissy agreed, saying that “Our ideas aren’t finished, but the pieces are. We finished pieces but not ideas.”

Often, artists work on commissioned pieces, but they can still create personal projects. Like with the Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition show, the students can do whatever they want.

Many artists, including those at the roundtable, said they like to work as agents of change through their work. Lissy, who is passionate about ocean conservation, has created many pieces about the human impact on nature. Jordan, a proud Mexican American, wants to increase inclusion, allowing for equal pay and opportunity.

After this semester, each of these students will graduate from SUU and move into the professional world. Most don’t know where they will work, but they all have dreams.

Sharilyn wants to be a freelance artist who owns her own business. Melissa would like to take photos for National Geographic or work in the entertainment industry, and McKenzie wants to work somewhere that allows her to do a variety of graphic design projects.

Following graduation, Jordan would like to work at an agency doing work on films. If she had it her way, Michelle would like to get paid to snuggle with puppies, but she said a more realistic goal is to work somewhere where she can highlight oceanic issues. Lissy has similar aspirations, wanting to create art to motivate people to support ocean conservation.

The B.F.A. Exhibition will be on display at SUMA through May 5. On April 12 at noon, there will be a gallery talk with some of the artists and SUU faculty.


APEX Hour Podcast

Audio Transcript