Second senior thesis art show explores female identity, the environment

The second 2017 Senior Art Exhibition features the talent of three Hastings College seniors May 1-21 in the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center (JDAC). The artists will give a lecture on their work Saturday, May 6 at 1:00 p.m. in the Wilson Center (714 E. 9th Street), with a gallery reception to follow in the JDAC.

senior thesis flyer 2wFor her show “Woven Reality,” Maggie Johnson of Loveland, Colorado, created sculptures using wire and a craft-based technique. She said her sculptures explore ideas of female identity and human interaction — and how they can often be affected by subliminal cultural norms.

“Exploration of the capabilities of craft-based techniques has been a major driving force in the creation of my art,” Johnson said. “Using non-traditional artistic methods, such as crochet, embroidery and knitting, I have investigated the relation of these types of heirloom traditions to memory, female identity and human relations.”

Johnson said she considers modern social and political issues in her work, especially within the context of how they can be perceived by individuals. “I draw inspiration from the commonplace, familiar imagery that defines life and the human condition,” she said.

Through her show “Sealing Our Fate,” Carolyn Clements of Omaha, Nebraska, said she is asking viewers to make positive changes in their lives to help better the environment.

“By entrenching ceramic seals in an ocean of garbage, I have made an emotional plea for mankind to stop and reverse the destruction happening in the environment,” Clements said. “While my installation may be offputting to some, the issues I am addressing are not pleasant — and therefore my art isn’t pleasant.”

She said her aim is to create an emotional connection between the viewer and conservation issues, inspiring the desire to reverse the environmental damage.

A third student, Chris Leet of Hastings, Nebraska, will share paintings he has made over the course of the year.

Hastings College is a private, four-year institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. With 64 majors and 15 pre-professional programs, Hastings College has been named among “Great Schools, Great Prices” by U.S. News & World Report and a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review. For more, go to

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