Seniors display artwork in exhibition

Raul Rodriguez

For one final time while at UT, seniors in the Department of Art and Art History got the chance to display some of their artwork in the senior art exhibition.

The exhibition titled “If I find the things I want to see” had its opening reception Friday and featured artwork such as sculptures, prints, photographs, videos and paintings.

Brooke Johnson, a studio art and art history, criticism and conservation senior, said she came up with the title of the exhibition after she heard the phrase in a TV show. Johnson said she also had three of her photographs up for viewing in the exhibition.

“(The title) kind of was functioning more like a metaphor for living your life and searching for the actual things … you want to see in the world,” Johnson said. “I felt like that had a direct translation to art … and looking at the world through a lens as an art maker.”

The exhibition took place in the Visual Arts Center, where members of the UT community were able to see all the works on display for free. Gallery manager Clare Donnelly said when arranging the art, seeing what worked well together was key.

“We considered things such as color, form, content, etc., when thinking of which pieces would work together in each space,” Donnelly said in an email. “It’s an interesting challenge trying to create a unified exhibition with such a wide range of work.”

Margaret Amberson, studio art and textiles and apparel senior, said her installation featured her and her twin sister in a conjoined dress with prints occupying the walls around them. She said this exhibition will serve as preparation for her next stage in the art industry when she attends the Fashion Institue of Design and Merchandising. 

“This is my first time showing my work in gallery,” Amberson said in an email. “Many people forget being an artist is a very social job. This event has taught me how to interact with people in an art/design setting and how to be comfortable talking about my art.”

Lauren Macknight, director of communications for the Department of Art and Art History, said the annual event draws many art collectors, admirers and buyers that help to give students real-world experience regarding professional exhibitions like this one. 

“It’s also really exciting,” Johnson said. “You get to see everyone’s work altogether and see the possibilities of where they might take their art practice.”