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SMC seniors reflect on art comprehensive projects

| Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Saint Mary’s recently exhibited the senior comprehensive projects of senior art majors Emily Engler, Colleen Donohue, Malea Schulte and Elizabeth McBride in Moreau Center for the Arts gallery.

The four students’ work was part of the senior exhibitions that occur each spring semester. Student artwork is presented and evaluated by a panel of staff members in the art department, McBride said. Other students have a chance to witness the work as well, both as members of various art classes where they evaluate the work, and by simply walking through the galleries.

McBride is a senior art history major, a specified division of the art department. Along with an exhibit showcased in the gallery, art history majors have to write a paper or analysis on a subject. As an artist as well as a musician, McBride said her paper took an interesting turn.

“My topic was a visual culture analysis on videosongs,” McBride said. “These are videosongs of artists recording and illustrating their songs. In a way, it’s a subculture and its own genre of music. Since there is a visual element, I was able to analyze is for my art history comprehensive.”

For the exhibition part of her comprehensive project, McBride displayed a visual reference of videosong artists executing their work. Even though this was smaller in size compared to other projects, she said that she still took a pride in her work and was proud of how far she had come.

“I just sort of put it up without any explanation, but I won’t lie, I stopped and looked almost every time I passed by it. It was for posterity,” McBride said.

Though having an exhibit in a gallery and an extensive paper may seem daunting, McBride said she learned many valuable lessons in the process.

“My number one piece of advice to any student: work hard,” McBride said. “It isn’t simple, because there is a lot involved. You can work hard to get something done at the last minute, but you’re mostly getting that thing done … because it’s last minute. Working hard is a process that involves consistency and effort.”

McBride said for underclassmen, this is a good technique to begin brainstorming ideas for senior comprehensive projects.

“[This way,] by the time the capstone or theses projects rolls around, you’ll know essentially what to expect. You can’t avoid or escape the stress, but you’ll know what to expect since you know what you have to do and how to do it,” McBride said.

Another rewarding part of these final projects comes in the form of knowing that there are people alongside you for the ride, she said.

“I take so much pride in being able to call the other art majors my friends,” McBride said. “We were a support system in every way, and I can’t thank them enough for being there to hear me spiel about videosongs, other stressors and my general random commentaries.

“I think that closeness helped each of us create extraordinary work. A good relationship brings the best out of people and that’s exactly what happened. [I have] too much gratitude, and I feel I can’t explain enough in words. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”


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