Showing Off


Posted on April 13th, by Jessica Meek in Picture This. No Comments

When I started Findlay’s illustration program, I had no idea that part of graduating meant being in a senior art exhibition. In other words, I was going to be in an art show! Two of my fellow seniors and I were grouped together and tasked with filling the walls of the Lea Gallery. From the beginning to the end of this endeavor, it was an exciting adventure.

The whole process got rolling during the fall semester, when we had to make a poster for our show. We sorted through years of archived examples, looking for a creative way to fill an 11 x 17 inch poster. After much deliberation, we settled on a photo booth theme. In an ultimate expression of creativity, we cut that standard poster size in half lengthwise, making a long, thin, 5.5 x 17 inch poster that echoed the shape of a strip of photos. One gray Friday afternoon, Katy, Kacie, and I gathered together in the empty printmaking studio, bringing with us zany props, wigs, and accessories. We hung up a sheet and started shooting. A mannequin, a baby doll head, a hula hoop, an animal skull, various fake flowers, pieces of fabric, and many other items made appearances in our photos. We settled on our favorites and I, having the most free time in my schedule, assembled the poster. The photo of me in cat ears made its way onto my family’s Christmas card.

Having finalized our poster, it was time to sort through a college education’s worth of art and pick what would actually be in the show. I like to work very small–rarely over 11 x 14 inches–so I could get away with fourteen pieces, while my showmates had to get their numbers down to around seven each. Unintentionally, my selection process left me with a piece in almost every imaginable medium: oil painting, photography, printmaking, ink drawing, collage, and a healthy number of watercolor paintings. Kacie chose to show her large and expressive oil paintings and charcoal drawings, and Katy focused on ceramics.

Canvases are easy to frame, and ceramic works just need a pedestal. Since I like to work on paper, I had the extra task of cutting mats and finding frames for my extra large number of show pieces. For months, I sorted through secondhand stores for picture frames. I found some. I borrowed some from my kind professor. I even brought one back with me from Hawaii after Christmas (it’s so much fun having a nice piece of glass in your carry on, especially when they run out of overhead space and make you check the suitcase it’s in… I had to take it out and board the plane with a random frame in my hand). I learned that thrift stores do not ever have 9 x 12 inch frames, which was the size I needed for a number of my watercolors. Still, I can’t complain: with all my scrounging, I only had to buy three frames new (all the 9 x 12 ones).

Framing accomplished, it was time to hang the show. We carried in our art, leaning it against the walls and deciding where to put things. After a few hours of arranging and rearranging our work, we found a way for our different pieces to mingle among each other in harmony. The actual hanging took another our or two. There was measuring, math, and a good amount of hammering involved. In my humble and unbiased opinion, the gallery looked great!

I enjoyed comparing the three of our styles. Kacie’s paintings are intense and emotional, Katy’s things are strange but interesting, and then there’s me with all my happy fantasy imagery. Six of my pieces (almost half of them all) had a mermaid (or merboy) involved. I have loved merfolk and their swirling, magical hair for years, and it showed.

Of course, I was so proud of the show that I pestered all my friends to go and see it. I was so excited to see my work hanging up, and to have people I care about looking at it. I would have been content if it had ended there. But, one last thrill came in the form of sales! I did not expect to sell anything, but four of my pieces were bought. Plus, one of them was bought twice. It was a photocopy of one of my favorite ink drawings, so I was able to simply make and quickly frame another copy for the second buyer.

This was my first real art show, and it was an absolutely wonderful experience. Hearing positive comments from viewers of the show, and selling work, was affirming. I am so thankful for everyone who was able to come to the gallery and enjoy our artwork. The show went down all too soon, but my memory of it will last a lifetime.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



From the Blog

Wondering what it's really like to be at The University of Findlay? Follow our bloggers and read—and sometimes listen and watch—their experiences. Real Oilers. Real stories. Real life.

Homestays and new experiences

So far on our journey, we have encountered so many kind people and even made some great new friends. The professors at the University...

Why Fukui?

You may find yourself wondering why we traveled to Japan. To put it simply, Kat and I wholeheartedly believe traveling and immersing yourself in...

Seeing the Sights and Settling In

The first three days of our trip were spent traveling Osaka, a great place for sightseeing here in Japan. We were able to see...

Sleepless in Osaka

A few days ago, we were scheduled to leave for Japan with Dr. Alison Baer and her husband Paul.  If you saw two girls...

Ready to Go!

Hello, Kat Slate and Julia Smith here! We are education majors setting out to teach children, not only here, but all over the world.

We...

Dear Findlay: A Letter to Everyone I’ve Known the Past 4 Years

Dear Findlay (and everyone affiliated),

August 2014, was the beginning of my senior year of high school. For most of my classmates, that meant preparing...

Use Your Words

For my last blog post of the academic year (I’ll be back this fall), I thought I’d provide some educational value to your valuable...

The Senioritis Struggle (or lack thereof): Part 2

Senioritis: sen·ior·i·tis: noun humorous: A supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation...

Freshman Year Lessons: An End of the Year Reflection

Looking back on my freshman year at Findlay, I have learned so much. It would be almost impossible to write about how many lessons...

To a New Beginning!

So, it’s almost the end of this semester! Almost the end of me being a freshman! They say time flies. It does.

There are so...

Surviving the End of the Semester: Tips & Tricks

The last few weeks of the semester are always the hardest. Suddenly, everything that you put off because “It isn’t due until the end...

Mazza Museum – Get the Picture!

It’s hard to believe, but not everyone who goes to UF has been to one of my favorite spots on campus: the Mazza Museum. It...

Passionate Students + Humble Leadership + Above & Beyond Mentality = @TheOiler10

On August 19, 2016, Professor Scott Grant, Ed.D., gathered 10 students (including myself) together in Old Main, Room 203. Barely any of us knew...

My Kind of Spring Break

If you are a follower of UFindlay Instagram or my Instagram profile, you may have seen that I had the great opportunity to be...

Let’s Celebrate More Birthdays

More than likely, someone in your life or someone you know has been affected by cancer.

In 2008, when I was just 10 years old,...