Senior Art Thesis 2021

Each year, Wittenberg University's Department of Art presents a Senior Art Exhibition. Traditionally, it opens with a reception in early April and seniors present publicly on their work in a culminating artist talk.

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, in lieu of an in-person reception and presentations, each student gave an artist talk next to their work in the Thompson and Ann Miller Galleries of Koch Hall. Please take a moment to watch them reflect upon their projects, stop by the galleries anytime between 9:00 a. m. and 5:00 p.m. to see the work in person, and sign a note in our virtual guestbook.

The exhibition will run through May 16. Congratulations to the department's seniors in the Class of 2020 - we hope you enjoy their work.

Ashley Belkofer

Let’s Talk About It: A Campaign for Social Change
Digital and print media

Graphic design is an influential industry, having the power to visually convey a message and provide solutions that can ease our communication. As a graphic designer I have a responsibility to help others share their messages and to create things that bring people together. Along with being passionate about graphic design, I am also passionate about mental health. One in four people will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their life but battling a mental illness can cause people to feel as if they are suffering alone.

Click Here for Complete Artist Statement

Joseph De Lorenzo Jenkins

Forbidden Fruit: Fimbulwinter
Graphic novella and animated short

For my project I wanted to incorporate techniques I’ve explored and built upon when the pandemic first hit. I wrote short stories back in high school but never to this extent. I wanted to push myself to form a narrative of interweaving plot threads that’ll sow the seeds for a future expansions I have planned as the story came to fruition. I switched from traditional pencil and paper to digital not too long ago and have expanded my arsenal in terms of what I can do, from environmental concepts to character & creature design.

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Paul Kirk III

What The Game Took From Them
Print media

We always hear about what the players gave to the game or what the game gave to the players, but we never hear about what the game took from the players. CTE stands for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which is a brain degeneration caused by repeated head trauma. Many players who play or have played in the NFL suffer from CTE. Rule changes happen every year to help protect the players but the issue of CTE is never addressed. Football is a physical sport and injuries are to be expected, but everyone could do a better job at recognizing the effects of CTE.

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Ellison Kochensparger

Captured George
Polaroids, inkjet prints, and acrylic on canvas

There is a tree out by Wittenberg’s observatory, it is a Flowering Dogwood that the artist decided to name George while working with it. They tend to name nameless art supplies, instruments, animals, or plants they work with. They called the tree George for so long that there was no other name for the project to be called. You could not miss its existence if you tried. This project revolves around this tree and the interactions it has had on occasions with the artist. The idea of the whole project is what you see is what you get. What people notice about the tree daily is what they get.

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Casey Luther

Porcelain, light fixtures, dark walnut
Pendant lights: $40
Lamps: $100

The work that I create is most commonly thrown on the wheel. I really love the feel of the smooth clay in my hands when throwing and this has led me to a love of porcelain. This clay is really fun to work on mastering because of its more delicate existence. It is very flexible on the wheel but cannot be pushed to make extreme shapes as easily and the drying process is much faster so it requires a lot of attention to get from a ball of wet clay to a fully fired form.

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Jacob Mortensen

Century Craft
Digital and print media

For this project, I have designed a collection of furniture and a catalog displaying it. I wanted to combine the 3D design software that I had been using for jewelry design with what I had been learning in my graphic design classes. Due to the pandemic, I had and have been spending a lot more time indoors, thinking about how the inside of my house actually looks and feels. I realized that I simply just do not like or use some of my furniture. I decided to dive in and learn everything that I could about furniture.

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Kimmey Mugford

Taste the Rainbow
Oil on canvas
$1200 each

My oil paintings were created with equal attention paid to the material process of painting and the aesthetic statements about the final product. I enjoy seeing evidence of the creative journey that takes place when paintings are made, and they can be seen as a metaphor for the same journey that all humans experience in their daily lives. People make decisions every day, and those decisions contribute to their journey as individuals. This is similar to my paintings.

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Hannah Petty

Barn Quilts Across Ohio & Kentucky
Artist’s book and archival inkjet prints

In my senior thesis, entitled Barn Quilts Across Ohio & Kentucky, I use a digital camera to capture these unique designs, but I am also particularly interested in the way black and white photography contrasts with the colored photos and choose to use a film camera in my process as well. The photos on the walls are only a few from the collection I have compiled within the book below. Many of the quilts I have captured have unique stories behind them, having to do with why they were created or what they represent. Many of the quilts have rich histories that can be traced back hundreds of years, and some are only put up because someone loved the look of the design.

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Devin Pieples

Archival inkjet prints

“Recovering is not linear” has my mantra for years. Recovery from mental illness is not an easy path and many struggle for their entire lives. For my thesis, I wanted to explore the ups and downs of recovery that those around me and myself have experienced. This series explores the vices used, breakdowns, hopelessness, and general impact of someone recovering from a sexual assault. I have explored different forms of portraiture to try to capture the isolation that comes from dealing with depression and sexual trauma.

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Anna Lebold

Understanding Others
Oil pastel and print media

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