McDaniel College’s Department of Art and Art History presents “Affect + Effect: Art and Social Responsibility,” the second of its two senior capstone exhibitions, April 25 through May 5 in the Rice Gallery in Peterson Hall. The show will feature a wide array of media, from traditional two- and three- dimensional approaches, to Digital and New Media. Students showing their work are Mei-le Apalucci, Anna Eckard, Sarah McRoberts, Hunter Metcalf, Rachel Sentz, and Hannah Sommer. The artists’ reception will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, with a Gallery Talk beginning at 6:00 p.m.
“My work seeks to understand the harsh realities and often complex challenges that naturally occur in life,” states Mei-le Apalucci. “My interactive work gestures viewers to engage with these complexities, and reflect on current framework used to manage them. By utilizing and integrating interdisciplinary means in my work, I am actively broadening the scope in which to analyze these issues.”
Anna Eckard works in multi-media and digital art. She feels that "with the popularity of internet communities, our society sees identity politics becoming more mainstream and simultaneously more outdated in a global post-identity society. My peers often scoff at the concept of identity in the form of labels or communities, seeing such things as counterproductive and divisive, but take special delight in pop identity labels and online quizzes to tell them which type of pasta their souls most resemble. A young person may be more inclined to tell the world they’re a ‘Slytherin’ or an Aquarius or a dog person before they consider aspects like class, race, or gender."
“In our world of ubiquitous wi-fi, smartphones in every pocket, and music or advertisements blaring from every street corner, what need have we for vinyl records, video tapes or Rolodexes?,” asks mixed-media artist Sarah McRoberts. “The world has changed a lot since the 1970s and 1980s, both technologically and culturally, yet the things left over from those times have always left me, a kid born in 1995, feeling most at home, and yearning with nostalgia for a time I never experienced in the first place. My art examines exactly how the world has changed since this era before 1995, with a special focus on the music and technology of the 1970s and 1980s, and an emphasis on using materials and technologies that actually existed during this time whenever possible.”
The inspiration for Hunter Metcalf’s art is nature. “My thoughts are this. It is not about just venturing out and seeing nature…it is about noticing how the elegance of a moving trout’s body flows with the current of the water or watching the slight shifts of color as the sun sets off in the distance. For me, it is about creating tangible objects that represent emotion, places and events. This is why I create art,” he says. “I love nature and I love to make art, trying to decide which one I enjoy most has presented me with an understanding that I need both of these passions in order for me to be me. Early on I was creating smaller scale works that try to capture the movements of nature rooted in large scale trout flies and gestural paintings. As my artwork developed, these small-scale works began to become larger and larger and were using different, unique techniques and materials to make them. This change shows the change of the environment around me. As the years have progressed the environment has been impacted negatively more and more and eventually will grow to a size that is incomprehensible. My work now is to show the viewers what they have been missing. The beauty, the peacefulness, the realization that this is what we truly live within but also to show that we need to protect this as much as we can. In creating these works I hope to inspire people.”
“Identity is a concept and a foundation to our beings that I think we all struggle with,” observes Rachel Sentz, “and I myself am no stranger to that constant struggle. Our identities are continuously changing depending on multiple factors both internal and external. Some of these factors could be our physical location, the people with whom we surround ourselves, the interests that we have, our perceptions, the habits that we form, the things we buy, what we say, and the foods that we eat just to name a few. I am at a time in my life when my personal identity is one of the hardest concepts to grasp, not only because of the external pressures of the world to be at a place in my life I haven’t quite reached yet and to be a certain way, but also the internal pressures to become the person I want to be. My work is a clear testament to the struggle I am facing with identity internally, but also as an outward expression. The dichotomy between abstract representation and personal connection is apparent in my sporadic choice of media and subject matter. My aim is to provide viewers with a physical representation of the identity battle we are all faced with daily, while also showing how each component of our identities cohesively molds to create the larger whole of our identity as complex individuals surrounded by complex environments.”
Hannah Sommer thinks her current body of work can “best be described as a ‘Catalogue of Self.’ Each piece explores a fragment of what makes up my identity and is focused more on inward and personal choice manifested through physical objects and external appearances. However, the identity fragments I explore are not wholly self-specific and are universally shared. My work is a way of sharing myself indirectly with the world, but also a way to invite my viewer to feel connected and perhaps cause them to begin their own introspection.”
The Rice Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 pm. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For information and to confirm gallery hours, please call 410-857-2595.
Thursday, April 27 at 5:30pm to 7:30pm