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Two BFA seniors show off works in self-curated exhibit

SVSU Bachelor of Fine Arts seniors will display their work in the Art Gallery until Dec. 13.

The free exhibit recognizes students for their work in completing their Bachelor of Fine Arts undergraduate degree programs.

The two students recognized for their artistic work are Danielle Cecil and Shelby Thurston.

“I have worked on this series for well over a year,” Cecil said. “Spending countless all-nighters in the darkroom has been exhausting but worth it.”

Cecil said students were responsible for setting up their own exhibit.

“We (had) to mount and frame everything ourselves and (were) also required to hang our own work in the gallery to get the experience of how it works with figuring out all the measurements and what not.”

Cecil said that having artwork presented in an exhibition at the University Art Gallery is a requirement for the fine arts degree.

“As BFA students, we have to take the basics, such as intro to drawing, intro to painting, intro to photo,” she said.

She said all BFA candidates must apply for the program.

“Once we build a portfolio, we have to apply for the program, and the art department faculty reviews them and votes on whether or not we are ready to be in the program,” Cecil said. “The only thing is that you never really know what their reaction will be, and they can tear your work right apart if they want.”

Cecil said she was grateful for the people who helped her along the way.

“The most memorable thing from my time in the fine arts program is honestly the close relationships I’ve developed with my committee of professors – Hideki Kihata, Sara Clark and Michael Garguilo,” she said.

She said she learned a lot from the professors.

“On both personal and professional levels, I have learned so much from these three individuals and will always be grateful for all of the time I got to work with them and the amount of knowledge they were able to give me,” she said.

Thurston said she was not sure what she wanted to display when she began planning her exhibit.

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but with this project it all became clear,” she said. “I want to do narrative work and, creating an animated series, I was able to first-hand know what it’s like to go from concept to completion on a large narrative project. I have a more reasonable set of expectations in my head and I know where to build off of now.”

Thurston said her exhibit explains how to create an animation from beginning to end.

“The show is meant to show the process of creating an animation from concept development, writing the script, storyboard development, character development, concept art and animated media,” she said.

Thurston also said that she will always remember this experience.

“I will never forget this project and the time spent on it,” she said. “I spent a year and a half annoying my professors with questions galore, staying up late to work, going home to work, thinking aboutwork I’ve already done and changing it. There were many mental breakdowns and changes of heart through all of this, not to mention personal things that affected my progress.”

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