Photos by
Jerry Gay

Left to right: Robin McDougall, Alisha Blalock, Nathaniel Rozema, Shin Honda (foreground), Kyle Gough, Susan Park, Larry Shao.

As part of their degree requirements, senior art majors show their best work at the annual spring Senior Art Show in SPU's Art Center Gallery. Because it is a working gallery that regularly features the creations of professional artists, chosen student artists pay a great deal of attention to mounting, lighting and how well each individual piece fits with the whole. In many ways, it is as important as any public debut.

This year's artists have exceptional potential, says Michael Caldwell, chair of the Art Department. "This class is one of the strongest in years. As a group, they exhibit more of a commitment to being artists. Two have already been accepted to graduate school and four more will probably go in another year."

Below is a sampling of featured work by some of the artists from the Class of 1998. (By necessity, they are reproduced here in black and white, in some cases providing only a hint of the original's vibrancy.)

Larry Shao
Taipei, Taiwan
"My Perception...Her Perception (Self Portrait)"
Oil on Canvas

"Evelyn Bates is a good friend and I decided I wanted to do something together. Each would do a half of the painting of me, and a drapery would prevent us from seeing one another's work and influencing each other's style. In the middle, the styles would merge but each of us signed the side we painted. Next year, it's her show and I'll come back to do half a painting we'll call 'My Perception...His Perception.' The eggshell represents the new changes in my life the past four years, like becoming a Christian."

Robin McDougall
Cardiff, California
Oil on Canvas

"When I started, I did many different layers and it was so dark, I got frustrated. Then I became intentional with the slash marks and blue and purple colors. Then I added the (yellow) window in the center in bright complimentary colors, and the (green) loop de loops. I love bright colors, especially purple. The texture of thicker paints is energizing."

Alisha Blalock
Oil on Canvas

"Those are my father's initials and this is an abstract portrait of him. It's an attempt to personify certain of his characteristics. The colors and design were chosen to bring out an emotional response that will be different in different people."

Shin Honda
Nagoya, Japan
"Thinking Man"
Pen and Ink

"I like the faces of old people. Their wrinkles are interesting and I like the lines. I found this man in a copy of National Geographic. What attracted me was the expression, the mood, the shadows and the texture. I wish I could have lived with my grandpa and learned from him."

Kyle Gough
Seattle, Washington
"Long Beach, Washington"
Graphite, Charcoal

"It was suggested that we do something with clouds -- to create positive and negative images. I have good memories of Long Beach; our friends had a cabin there. I worked from a photograph."

Nathaniel Rozema
Bayview, Washington

"It's all wool. I wanted to create a continuity through the whole design. It has its own visual impact so that you don't really have to articulate anything about it. But I associate it with New Mexico, symbolic of a close friend from there. I think I'd like to go one day."

Susan Park
San Diego, California
"Calligraphic Vessels"
Stoneware, Forged Copper

"It looks so easy. You touch clay and a magical pot happens. But to learn how, I threw pots 'til my arms fell off' -- 10 hours a day. I like mixed media. I like the vessel as metaphor for humanity -- it's often mentioned in the Bible."

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