“Waking up to wait in dew or frost in a public lot, or on a stranger’s porch. Hours of waiting for those moments of fleeting light … there’s a great satisfaction in capturing that moment,” says Senior Bude Bude in a statement for his senior art project. Bude’s project, “Transient: Light and Life Transitions,” opened along with two other senior art students, Jenni Beck and Susan Huntley, on April 4th in the Gehman art gallery. For his part, Bude chose multiply-exposed photos from his photo manipulation class, all depictions of local land and cityscapes within several miles of EMU. Many of his photographs demonstrate a compositional quality and maturity, where color and light work together to enhance the day- dreamy tones of sleepy Harrisonburg. Often, he says, his work involved work on both ends of the shutter: placement and development.
Art professor Cyndi Gusler recognized Bude, Beck and Huntley for their dedication. “I am so proud of our students,” said Gussler. “Most of them risk a lot and take on serious challenges.”
While Bude’s forward-looking perspective was a wakeup call to those of us living in the EMU bubble who rarely venture into the often stark and beautiful environs of our own zip code, Beck’s journey “Galapagos” tried to capture the essence of human experience with acrylics. “Our lived experience is art,” declared Beck’s written statement.
This kind of reflection is evident in her talented painting, and her style and composition show the promise of a young artist who is no stranger to forms of wildlife, land and sky.
Punctuated by sketches and pages ripped from the travel-journal she kept during her time on cross-cultural, Beck’s several paintings spoke of lived experience. Her technique also demonstrated a willingness to experiment; she mixed sand and coffee grounds into her paint to add texture. For her painting skills, EMU will no doubt be proud, one day, to claim Beck as an alumn.
Huntley’s pieces were water color paintings. She was inspired by glass vessels — like bottles — and wanting to portray these objects in still-life, some surrounded by flowers.
Cyndi Gusler captures the mood well. “I keep wondering,” she says, “how high we can continue to raise our standards.” Higher, but for these intelligent and inspiring young artists, the world must seem full of possibilities.
-Evan Knappenberger, Staff Writer; photos by Joaquin Sosa, EMU Alumnus
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