Twelve artists speak virtually about their culminating work
During an Individual Studio Artist Talks held virtually on May 1, graduating fine art students presented their work and discussed their creative journey that led them to Northampton Community College (NCC). Twelve students took turns presenting work from their early years up to their work in the Individual Studio/Professional Practices class taught by Art Professor, Rachel Gorchov. Find an image of the artist's work below each description to follow.
Alexandra Raughley says that the human experience inspires her. The marbling technique is one that allows her to lose control and bring her closer to mother earth. Ceramics is a medium she has always enjoyed because, as she puts it, the clay is “pliable to what I want it to be, but ultimately, it can become something you never dreamed of.”
Raven Hnedak plays with the theme of death and its connection to our everyday life through sculpture. “I believe we aren’t sensitive enough to death. We eat eggs and seldom do we think, ‘that’s an embryo.’ We pass roadkill and go about our day like nothing happened.” She wants her art to test our ideals and feelings around this subject.
Megumi Taguchi loves costume and fashion. She has created pieces focused on kimonos, phone cases, canvas bags, shoes and more. As a Japanese student studying in America, she enjoys connecting her two worlds in her art. “For a piece I created, a hat, I incorporated the American eagle and the feathers of the Japanese crane.”
Much like Taguchi, Anthony Mills has been greatly influenced by Japanese culture and uses that in his artwork. “Friends got me through many things in my life, and so, I think common themes of bonds and the meaning of friendship is what I especially was attracted to about Japanese artwork.” He creates Manga, Japanese style graphics and comics, to display a character that has been recurring throughout his artwork, Moriko.
Jillian Golardi embraces the art of weaving. “I can reflect on my life intuitively when I use this form of creation.” One of her most memorable pieces incorporates seven traumas in her life she’s since laid to rest. This piece can be seen above.
Michael Seigfried says that being transgender has affected the artwork and symbolism in his art. “I started to play with the idea of snakes. They are a force of power and transition, shedding their skin and evolving into something new. I can relate to that.” Seigfried has also used different mounting in his artwork, like masking tape, and rough materials, like barbed wire.
Ashley Counterman is inspired by animals, and illustrations are her medium. “I would love to eventually illustrate a children's book.”
Pepper Flatt is a digital cartoonist who enjoys whimsy in her artwork. “I find inspiration from mental health and well-being and portraying those struggles in my characters.”
Thanya Rodriguez-Reyes does a lot of work that represents the close relationships in her life. She’s painted portraits of family, focusing on their common expressions. Some of her favorite pieces are comprised of, "still life representations of family members and their characteristics."
Oona Brayshaw learned a lot from her mother, who was also an artist. The topics of science and classic artwork fascinate her. The people in renaissance paintings have a special beauty to her. But, on the opposite end of the spectrum, she loves what some may not find so beautiful, bugs. She feels, “I love nature and science, and bugs can be just as beautiful as the people in our paintings.”
Corey George looked to movies that focused on femininity for inspiration. One of his favorites was The Bird Cage along with many 80s and 90s films and campy musicals like Hairspray. “These played with homosexuality and gender norms, and I play with this type of sensuality in my shoots with people.”
Hannah Gruber values equality in all things, and that shows in her work. She sees the significance in communication and interconnection as she observes the world around her. Watercolor is a medium she will always enjoy working with because of that way the colors play with each other in the piece. “One of my favorite creations is one where the earth and sky meet, and people are working together interchangeably and harmoniously. That’s how I feel the world should work.”
To see more of these exceptional young artists’ work, visit https://art.northampton.edu/student-gallery/fine-art-portfolios/