Ouachita Baptist University will host senior exhibits for four graduating art students in the Hammons Art Gallery April 23 to May 4. Tanner Huffman, Hannah Pfeiffer and Marshall Pope will display their senior graphic design exhibit, “Graphically Speaking,” and Jessica Bowling will display her senior studio art exhibit, “Beyond the Past.” A reception will be held for both exhibits in Hammons Gallery on April 26 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
The three design students chose to name their exhibit “Graphically Speaking” because “we all come from design and communication backgrounds and seek careers in the field. Our role as communication designers is to communicate ideas to an audience by presenting them in their simplest visual forms,” said Huffman, a senior mass communications and graphic design major from Wynne, Ark. “This is how we graphically speak.”
Pfeiffer is a senior graphic design major from Benton, Ark., and Pope is a senior graphic design major from Texarkana, Texas.
The exhibit, which serves as a culmination of the students’ art studies during their time at Ouachita, is also an opportunity for each student “to look over his or her body of work as a whole and see what their professional portfolio will look like,” said Ferris Williams, assistant professor of visual arts.
“The most important thing a designer can have beyond academic credentials is a good portfolio. It’s the metaphorical foot in the door to any potential employer,” Williams said. “You shouldn’t have a subpar piece in your portfolio, and you can’t really hide a bad piece if it’s hanging on the wall for all to see. It’s good for a student to understand that their work will be judged in the same way when they’re job hunting.
“I came to these students late in their education, but I find them all accomplished and well-equipped as designers,” Williams added. “Marshall Pope’s work is a lot like his personality, clean and calm with surprising depth. Hannah Pfeiffer has done some great work creating designs for OBU recruiting and brings a lot of her cheerful spirit to her work. And Tanner Huffman’s work displays a steady professionalism. I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for each of them, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of their artistic journey.”
Describing inspiration for his designs, Huffman attributes some of his work to pop culture. “Two of last projects have been Mad Men-related. … I’m drawn to very clean and simple design, which is reflected in 1950s and ’60s design, but I always like to throw in something unexpected. I like taking risks with my work.
“Lately I’ve also been inspired by color and color theory and how it all works together,” Huffman added. “I’ve been working a lot with the primary printing colors (as in CMYK), and it’s awesome to see how even the most basic colors can do crazy things if you experiment with them.”
Bowling, a senior studio art and mass communications major, has lived in Costa Rica, Paraguay and Chile as a missionary kid. She described her mixed media exhibit as a view of her past and present together.
“Jessica has been preparing works for her exhibit that combine her interests in photography and painting,” said Donnie Copeland, assistant professor of visual arts. “Working from the point of view of a photographer, she transfers printed images to paper or wood using an acrylic medium and then enhances the image by painting, drawing and adding collage elements to the composition.
“While the pieces look like paintings, their photographic origins remain and the editorial nature of photography is obvious,” Copeland added. “Jessica has worked her way beyond the typical assumptions about what one can do with photography and painting and, in combining them, has given us something both beautiful and interesting to look at.”
The exhibits are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Exhibits are also available during evenings when other School of Fine Arts events are held in Mabee Fine Arts Center. For more information, contact the School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.
By Breanne Goodrum