Bring It On!

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The 2024 senior studio art exhibition runs April 19 to May 19, 2024. Photo by Andy Bale.

Senior studio art majors present 2024 joint exhibition

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

This week, nine studio art majors will present the most important exhibition of their careers to date, and they are bringing it. Their joint senior exhibition, Bring Your Own Everything, is the result of a yearlong endeavor that includes a midyear trial run, individualized critiques, shared readings and discussions and inspiring visits to museums and galleries.

“It’s an intense collaboration where everybody has to bring something. Energy, emotion, enterprise, endurance, excitement and even a little bit of enchantment are typically required,” says Professor of Studio Art Anthony Cervino. “This group of students brought all of these and more.”

Here’s what you can expect at this year's studio art exhibition, opening Friday, April 19, at the Trout Gallery.

Elegy: Carson Arp '24

Photo by Andy Bale.

Photo by Andy Bale.

“Ultimately, I hope to depict the notion of vulnerability as being both beautiful and necessary for forging connections between individuals.”

Though experienced in photography and drawing, Arp expanded on his painting skills during the past year and discovered an increased freedom to express emotions. Over time, the work has evolved from abstractions rendered in acrylics to more detailed, narrative oil pieces focused on memories and emotions relating to loss.

Endurance: Jess Berghofer '24

2024 senior studio art show

Photo by Andy Bale.

“I like the challenges of woodworking, especially how wood is both malleable and rigid … I love the seemingly endless potential.”

Born in Russia, Berghofer grew up in a wooded area of New Jersey, took woodshop class in high school and fell in love with the medium. While cultural heritage is a source of inspiration, it’s the material itself and the processes of transforming wood into art that drive this collection of work. Berghofer’s capstone works embody a variety of techniques, ranging from low-relief sculptures, chiseled designs and hand-carved wooden forms.

Excavation: Dominique Dorian '24

2024 senior studio art show, Photo by Andy Bale

Photo by Andy Bale.

“I’m interested in how the history of extraction, production and transportation of our everyday items is one of the most relevant avenues for understanding inequalities inherent in our social structure.”

Dorian’s layered, colorful abstract art recalls memories of a childhood in Los Angeles, where the arts and entertainment industries cast vivid imprints. “The persistent exchange and interchange of art means that concepts constantly get fed from one medium to another,” Dorian says, observing that the lines between art and commodity quickly blur. 

Sometimes the artistic process is like destruction, as Dorian “breaks in” and weathers surfaces. Other times, it’s more like an uncovering, an experience the double major in art & art history and archaeology likens to an archaeological dig.

Experience: Naim Ezekiel '24

2024 senior studio art show. Photo by Andy Bale.

Photo by Andy Bale.

“Everything I create is an invitation—a door to explore, question and celebrate the profound diversity of Black experiences.”

Pride and legacy are the pillars of Ezekiel’s new and varied work. Through collage, Ezekiel juxtaposes disparate images, textures and symbols to create multifaceted visual narratives imbued with tension and ambiguity. Paintings and drawings explore personal expressions that connect to more universal experiences. Ezekiel’s sculptures are designed to attract attention and engagement, as viewers view the forms from different angles and distances. Conversely, silhouettes create abstractions and distance the viewer. 

Together, these pieces aim to “forge connections with the collective experiences of the Black community, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the complexities of Black identity and heritage,” writes Ezekiel. After graduation, Ezekiel will teach English in Colombia as a Fulbright ETA.

Enigma: Kai Lemis '24

2024 senior studio art exhibition

Photo by Andy Bale.

“I’m referring to ancient stories and the ongoing presence of clay in everyday life, whilst reworking its purpose and contexts into my own personal narrative.”

Lemis explores personal identity informed by references to Chinese philosophies, art and culture. Whether nodding to the precision of Shang Dynasty jade carvings or to Daoist and Buddhist concepts of natural flow, harmony and spirituality, Lemis both honors and reinterprets age-old cultures and beliefs.

Ambiguous forms—neither overtly human nor nonhuman—evoke to a “middle space” way of being, informed, in part, by Lemis’ experiences as a Chinese American. These sculptures are mostly out of clay, an ancient medium that refers to a legend about the creation of humans out of the material.

Ecosystem: Joshua Manzo '24

2024 senior studio art exhibition

Photo by Andy Bale.

“My work is a sincere investigation of present-ness ... [and is] ultimately driven by my identity and existence in the natural world.”

Manzo’s appreciation for ecosystems and the natural world steeps the artist’s capstone works with a sense of the interconnectedness of living things. Organic systems, movements, and the virtues of a present-centered and purposeful life are also dominant themes.

“Though infused with boundless energy, most of my work is a representation of quiet moments,” writes Manzo. In addition to seeking to depict that sense of the present, Manzo views the work as “demonstrating the growth and joy the environment has allowed me to see.”

Eros: Devin Rossi '24

Photo by Andy Bale. 2024 senior studio art show.

Photo by Andy Bale.

“Being raised on the horror genre, especially 1930s-50s films and B-list films, put me at a predisposition to be enamored by the conversation with body horror, absurdity, innuendo and the taboo.”

Identity, vulnerability, gender and taboo are among the key themes in Rossi’s work, which reflects on personal identity. Source materials drawn directly from childhood frame the artist's long-held interests in comics, science fiction, mythology, absurdist humor and horror films in new ways.

Because the work centers on an organic entity—the body, in relation to identity—ideas of decay and transformation are also in play. Decomposing mushrooms and fungi symbolize rebirth.

Eden: Eden Sanville '24

2024 senior studio art exhibition

Photo by Andy Bale.

“My work strives to pull the viewer in with excessive information, colors and direct confrontation through materials and form, while using scale to present the feeling of being enveloped or taken in by the virtual world.”

Identity is also a central thread in Sanville’s work, which connects childhood experiences with a growing self-understanding for the artist, who identifies as neurodiverse.

Sanville also references the complex experience of Internet use in childhood. Works depict the web as a space where children seeking refuge and belonging can find community and acceptance and also danger and discord.

Evolution: Ian Spurrier '24

2024 senior studio art exhibition

Photo by Andy Bale.

“My work brings attention to the current relationships that humans have with nature as well as those we may develop in the future.”

What does our collective future hold? Spurrier imagines two outcomes. Through technological advances, he believes, we may achieve a utopian society. Or we may descend into dystopia, as we battle each other for dwindling resources.

Spurrier's newest art explores those possibilities, along with the idea that we humans may increasingly incorporate technology into our bodies. The artist incorporates found materials, such as railroad ties, scrap metal and, most significantly, wood into these works.

Bring Your Own Everything runs April 19 through May 19 at the Trout Gallery. Learn more about this semester's exhibitions and discover more compelling public arts events through Dickinson’s Calendar of Arts.


Published April 16, 2024