Senior art students compete for spaces in gallery

Betsy Marsch
Betsy Marsch
Betsy Marsch, senior art major, prepares paintings for her senior art show in her personal studio. | Photo by Amanda Rohde

Showing and presenting any form of artwork to the public requires much hard work and preparation, and Betsy Marsch, senior art major with a double emphasis in painting and visual aesthetics, can certainly attest to that.

Marsch said she has been thinking about the type of artwork she would want to show since her freshman year of college. However, before she could begin making artwork for her show, Marsch had to receive approval from art faculty.

She submitted an initial proposal with her lead professor, Christopher Nadaskay, for the show right after finals in the fall 2013 semester.

After that, she turned it in for approval by four other art professors. Finally, she submitted it to Steve Halla, supervisor of senior art shows and assistant professor of art at Union.

“The art show is a great opportunity for students to put together a solid, coherent body of work that they can build upon, even after graduation,” Halla said.

He added that through the process, students will be able to have some real-life career experience as they gain valuable critiques from professors and learn to maximize the use of gallery space.

“It is a great joy for me as a professor to share and celebrate the work and progress of these art students with the Union community,” Halla said. “It is also a unique opportunity and proud achievement for the student presenting their work as well.”

After their proposals are approved, students will create and present their work to five art professors within the duration of a few weeks.

“Each senior will present her work-to-date to the faculty in a brief meeting, at which point the professors will ask questions to see whether the student has thought deeply about the implications of her work,” Marsch said.

The professors will also decide whether the student is on schedule to be able to have enough work to go on display in the Union art gallery. Finally, the last step will be when the student sits through “orals,” which is an interview with the professors whereby he or she will defend the work created.

“This is a very intimidating process, but a very helpful one since the professors give much needed, intense critiques as well as advice,” Marsch said.  “It’s an excellent preparation for the professional scenarios an artist will face during her career.”

Marsch’s art will be a series of oil paintings focusing on portraits.

“Mastery of the human form in art is extremely important even for non-traditional artists, and my aim is to work on that skill while showing the value and beauty of everyday people I know here in Jackson,” Marsch said.

She finds inspiration in different works of art, theology, philosophy and physics.

However, the inspiration for her art show comes from an artist from the Edwardian era, John Singer Sargent, who painted portraits in the late 19th century.

“His mastery of oil paint and brushwork is breathtakingly beautiful,” Marsch said.

Senior art shows are scheduled near the end of April 2014 and will take place in the Union University art gallery.

Image courtesy of Cardinal & Cream|Cardinal & Cream