By Mandy Halbert
October 12, 2020
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – Ouachita Baptist University’s School of Fine Arts will host the senior exhibits of Samantha Dixon, Josh Salmon and Mackenzie Stewart beginning Monday, Oct. 12, through Friday, Oct. 23, in the Rosemary Gossett Adams Gallery on the second floor of Moses-Provine Hall. While the artists will forgo receptions and gallery talks due to COVID-19, the exhibits are free and open to the public for viewing.
Dixon, a senior graphic design major from Arkadelphia, Ark., will present her exhibit “It’s Not a Dumb Idea;” Salmon, a senior graphic design and music industry double major from Spring, Texas, will present his work in “Negative Space;” and Stewart, a senior graphic design major from Hurst, Texas, will present “Passion Project.” The exhibits showcase a collection of works created during their time at Ouachita in order to demonstrate understanding and growth in their design skills.
“Ouachita has shaped me a lot as an artist, not only through learning more about graphic design, but also through the critiquing process,” Salmon said. “The professors here are all willing to give students the feedback they need – though, not always the feedback they want – which creates an atmosphere for students, especially graphic design students, that pushes them to excel in their craft.”
For Dixon, her exhibit “It’s Not a Dumb Idea” focuses on her growth in confidence as an artist.
“In searching for my own design style and preferences, I’ve had to keep this idea at the forefront of my daily routine, written in my notebook, a sticky note in my car and the occasional audible declaration to myself in the mirror,” Dixon said. “Taking this approach has led me to the creation of some pieces that I admire, like those that hang in my senior exhibition. It has also led me to pieces that were, blatantly, not actually that good. But even so, with trial and error, I have still come to find that there has yet to be a dumb idea.”
Salmon’s exhibit “Negative Space” highlights his use of black and white and the incorporation of negative space throughout his works.
“My favorite exhibit piece would have to be my piece entitled ‘Weight,’” Salmon said. “There are a lot of people who feel as if they’re at the end of their rope, but also feel like the weight of the world continues to fall on their shoulders.
“I love the design of the [exhibit] poster because I think it portrays this feeling really well with the silhouette of a man standing on the edge of a cliff, realizing he has nowhere else to go and nowhere to run from the massive wave about to crash down around him,” he added.
Stewart’s exhibit “Passion Project” features typography, hand-drawn graphics, photo collage and product design.
“I pour my heart into every piece I make,” Stewart said. “My goal is to be seen as set apart from the majority of the modern design community. I want people to notice the difference in my work and notice how I enjoy my job because I am doing what the Lord has given me a passion to pursue.
“I personally believe that any art that isn’t refreshing to our souls is a waste,” she continued. “That is why I design with my whole heart and full of passion.”
The exhibits can be viewed Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.