Ouachita Baptist University will host three students’ artwork in the Hammons Art Gallery April 14-22. Anna Leigh Herrin, Greta James and Lauren Stuart will host a reception for their senior exhibit in Hammons Gallery on April 16 from 6-7 p.m.
“I am nervous, but more so I am excited,” said Stuart, a senior studio art major from Little Rock, Ark. “It’s exciting to finally show my artwork to friends and family. They have seen some of my work, but most of it they have never seen.”
“It is a little scary,” agreed James, also a senior studio art major from Little Rock. “Hopefully it will be received well. There is a night and day difference between seeing your artwork amidst the mess of the art building and seeing it finished and framed on a gallery wall. Seeing the finished product is exciting.”
The exhibit serves as a culmination of the students’ art studies during their time at Ouachita.
“My style has come such a long way from when I began my first art class here at Ouachita,” noted Herrin, a senior studio art major from Newton, Texas. “I have always had a love and inspiration for nature and using color to bring out the beauty around me, but now my style has become my own. It is evident in my work as a senior that it’s more than a copy of someone else’s style, it’s uniquely my own.”
Despite having unique styles and interpretations, the artists cite similar inspiration for their work.
“I am most inspired by people,” James said. “Their many appearances and gestures can remind us of the beauty and difficulty of life that we experience every day and I want to bring more attention to that.”
Stuart also cites people as her primary inspiration, saying, “I love how each person has their own spirit and personality. They are so unique and I try to capture that energy and hopefully portray it well on a canvas.”
“My inspiration comes from nature,” Herrin reflects. “I love re-creating my personal view of the world around me. God is the master artist, so my ultimate inspiration comes from Him because He gave me the ability to create art in the first place.”
Describing their favorite pieces in the show, James said, “There are some that I have enjoyed making more than others; I think that ‘Skye’ might be one of those, because I got to finger-paint.”
“My favorite piece is called ‘Portrait I,’” Stuart said. “It is a little girl who is making a surprised face with chocolate all around her mouth. It is such a funny picture to begin with and it just brings me joy.”
“My favorite piece is probably ‘Good Morning,’” Herrin said. “It consists of a sun, created with oil paint, on top of a watercolor background. I am obsessed with sunny days, so I decided to re-create that in an artwork.”
The students each said they have enjoyed working together on the show after studying together for four years.
“It is a blessing to go through the process of putting together this senior show with friends,” James said.
Stuart agreed: “Greta and Anna are so talented, and I am honored to show my work with them.”
“It’s refreshing to get everyone’s opinions and tips, because the other art students are also very talented and may see something that would improve my work that I may have missed otherwise,” Herrin added. “They are very encouraging and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them during the past four years.”
For more information, contact the School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.
By Meg Gosser