The third senior thesis exhibition reception of the year was held at Zilkha on Wednesday, April 19 and featured the works of four senior studio art majors: Dylan Beckman, Harrison Carter, Elinor Case-Pethica, and Caren Wenging Ye. Between photography, design, and painting, the four artists showcased a wide array of conceptual ideas represented distinctly in their respective mediums.
Dylan Beckman’s photo series, “Ersatz Goods,” is the first photography thesis we’ve seen from studio art majors thus far. The images, which took up space on three walls of the gallery space, were eye-catching for their vibrant colors and unconventionally depicted scenes.
“The piece as a whole deals with absurdity, artifice, and nostalgia,” said Beckman concisely. “Additionally, the photos also confront scenes from childhood memories.”
Harrison Carter’s “Arcotega: 1968-74” is a multimedia and genre design piece that features contrived propaganda media from an invented country that the artist conceptualized himself. For Carter, the project was meant to explore the history of an imaginary country by way of posters that may have been developed to advance or oppose this country’s government’s agenda.
“I drew ideas for my thesis from the current political climate as well as historical references to countries like Cuba and Guatemala,” said Carter.
Elinor Case-Pethica’s “Babe” occupied the space on the wall farthest from the entrance at Zilkha. Her paintings featured hazy dark backgrounds with traces of human figures that presented themselves like apparitions. These human subjects almost glowed in the foreground in front of the dark space behind them, haunting the viewer, but also encouraging us to enter the frame.
Caren Wenging Ye’s pop-up “YUANLIN” embodied the genre of a sort of an architectural design proposal. The project centered on the idea that there is so much empty space in the world, especially between buildings. Ye suggests that we should all do more to beautify and liven up these voids, by planting flowers and encouraging more community and interpersonal engagement in such spaces. She exhibited her ideas in a series of comprehensive posters as well as a 3-D model that exemplified how these empty spaces could be better filled.
The works of all four artists will remain on view at Zilkha during regular hours of operation from April 18-23, when the space will be gearing up for the fourth and final exhibition of senior art theses.
The last art thesis reception of the year, which will be held on April 26, will showcase the works of five more senior art studio majors: Lucia Salwen, Lily Homer, Sonya Torres, Alison Lam, and Haenah Kwon.