Seniors showcase art thesis work at Hastings College

The Hastings College Department of Visual Arts is featuring the art of four graduating seniors for their senior thesis show at the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center now through April 20. The artists will give a lecture on their work on Saturday, April 7, at 1:00 p.m., in the Wilson Center auditorium with a reception to follow at the JDAC. The exhibition and lecture are free and open to the public.

The showcase, titled “Artistic Perception,” features art from seniors David Fitzgerald, Doniphan, Nebraska; Hannah Goss, McCook, Nebraska; Breanna Obermier, Holdrege, Nebraska; and Cheyenne Knehans, Riverton, Nebraska.

For his portion of the show, Fitzgerald created framed relief sculptures and wall mounted 3D works.

“My body of work explores the phenomenon of tension in the gallery setting,” he said. “My art attempts to stimulate a sense of perceived tactile pressure and physical temptation through the subversion of materials.”

Goss said she used symbolism to represent victims of sex trafficking in charcoal drawings.

“Atrocities happen every day: countless disturbing stories are featured, yet others go unnoticed due to absent coverage or simply a lack of general awareness,” she said. “Drawn over a prop, United States currency, I embody the foundation the industry hidden in plain sight. Charcoal having dirty qualities, further highlights that the money exchanged through these transactions is sullied. My work brings to light the grossly under reported issue of human trafficking.”

Obermier said she explored themes of gender in mixed media sculpture.

“I find and build items from our gendered world to make sculptures that explicitly show the restrictions of the gender binary. These works include skills like sewing, building, working with found objects, and casted elements,” she said. “Manipulating gendered materials and modes of production allows me to create arrangements that dissolve preconceived notions of gender distinctions. By mixing stereotypical identifiers, my work breaks down the restrictions that have traditionally defined gender.”

Knehans said she used color theory and plaster casts to evoke emotions in paintings.

“My studio practice explores the visceral expression of emotions through painting and anatomical casts. Hyper-detailed plaster arms and hands personify tension through the gestural implications that the folds of knuckles and the creases in our palms hold,” she said. “Emotive states are exemplified through the psychological color theory and unconventional paint application. The strong relationship between the two materials is built to reflect raw emotive sensations.”

The senior thesis works are on exhibit in the JDAC until April 20. The second group of seniors will open their thesis show May 5.

Gallery hours in the JDAC are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

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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