Senior Art Show 2020
The show must go on! This year's Senior Art Show, which was scheduled to open in the Ryniker-Morrison Gallery on April 16, has been moved online. Rocky Mountain College’s Ryniker-Morrison Gallery is proud to host this show entitled “The Senior Show” featuring Rocky’s graduating seniors.
The collection includes works created by the students as a capstone to their art degree. Works by seniors Amelia Buffington, Bailey Rheaume, Carrie Daniels, Isaac Petsch, Jessie Novak, Marina Eshelman, and Olivia Crayton will be displayed online this spring. This online culmination of student work will be housed on the Rocky website for all to enjoy. Click on the "Artist's statement +" and "Gallery +" signs below each artist's section to learn more about them and view their work.
Amelia Buffington works primarily in illustration and watercolor. She uses urban influences and intertwines them into the human figure. She is passionate about family dynamics, being one of five siblings, and works towards ending the stigma surrounding mental illness and addiction. These topics drive her work.
“My work is inspired by my studies, and the places they take me,” said Olivia Crayton. “Art enables me to see the life and beauty in my work, and helps me pay attention to detail. Even though my majors are Environmental Science and Political Science/History, I could not have accomplished them effectively without studying art.”
Please contact Olivia at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in purchasing prints or a commission. Follow okcrayton.art on Instagram to see more of her art.
My work is inspired by what I do, art and science can be one in the same. I am about to earn my degrees in Environmental Science, and History - Political Science, with a minor in Art. These all require analysis, observation, and a natural sense of curiosity. They force you to look at the world in an inquisitive way - to keep asking questions, keep searching for new discoveries.
My studies have kept me outside more than in a classroom during my four years here. My work has taken me on the Lewis and Clark Trail through the upper Missouri River, the Serengeti in Tanzania, and all the way to Yellowstone in the winter. We study each area intensely, examining the ecosystem in whole, and the relationships between organisms. In my classes, we were required to keep a sketchbook to help us learn the animals or grasses we needed to know by the end of the class. It forces you to see details of a feather, or the shape of the seed, so that you are able to identify it in the field. My paintings and photography usually focus on the Montana landscape with trees, with only a few animals to be shown. This is to emphasize how the landscape may seem solitary and lonely, but there are living things everywhere you go, even if you may not know it.
Through my art classes, they have improved my skills in painting and photography, and introduced me to new skills such as metalworking and calligraphy. These are both very old forms of art, and as a result, my pieces are inspired by my history studies. Both of these techniques require hours of practice and patience, but produce stunning results. I enjoy a good challenge.
Carrie Daniels, whose primary medium is oil, remarked that “Painting is so freeing and relaxing. I love to paint places where I have traveled or hope to travel to in the future, so that I can show others the beauty of the whole world.”
Please contact Carrie at email@example.com if you are interested in purchasing her artwork or a commission.
Oil painting is so freeing and relaxing for me. I love to paint places where I have travelled or hope to travel to in the future, so that I can show others the beauty of the whole world. I enjoy using many bright hues in my landscapes and capturing how the colorful sky makes me feel in real life, outside my paintings.
I have worn many hats while attending Rocky Mountain College. I am a student-athlete, as well as a mentor and ambassador at RMC. Although I enjoy my many activities, art and specifically, painting has had a huge influence in my life. Art has always been an activity where I can be myself and create what I see through my eyes.
I discovered oil paints in high school when I won a set from a contest via our art department. At first I didn’t know how to use them, but I have fallen in love with how they blend together on a canvas and the vibrant colors, and the textures I can create with them. Creating art is something that takes me to new places, through the work of my landscapes. I often paint scenes of places I have travelled to or wish to travel in the future. I work from photographs and enjoy capturing sunsets, sunrises, or anything colorful. The sky is something that always fascinates me and I believe in those few minutes where the sun is appearing or disappearing in the horizon is the moment where God is the most present, showing us just one of His beautiful creations.
Some of my most recent works include whimsical and rich colored views of Ireland and Hawaii, two of my favorite places to travel. I am greatly influenced by Albert Bierstadt, specifically the luminism in his landscape skies. I create my work not only to travel to that place in my mind, but simply to create something beautiful to enjoy. As an artist, I struggle with the purpose of why I paint, but in all honesty I paint because I want others to see more beautiful things in their own eyes and aspire to go out and see the world. I paint for the rare simplicity of not making the viewer think about why or what I painted, but for the eye to be caught by a moment of pure beauty.
Marina Eshelman uses art to “explore the different aspects of human life that inspire her; whether it is the subject, the composition, or even the medium that she is working with.” She works in a wide array of mediums, including ink, acrylic, clay, photography, and henna.
Please contact Marina at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in purchasing her artwork, a print of her artwork, or a commission. Follow artfrommars on Instagram to see more of her art.
I use art as a tool to learn, understand, and communicate with my viewers about experiences, movements, ideas, cultures, people, and so much more. This is a big world filled with so many different people, cultures, and ideas that there are times where I feel overwhelmed and unable to fully express how these things affect me. It is in these magical moments when I cannot find the right words I tend to find inspiration instead. In this sense I would consider myself to be either a narrative, expressive, or maybe even a conversationalist artist.
I grew up in a multicultural family in San Diego California, where I was surrounded by many different people, traditions, and ideas. Sometimes they would be conflicting and sometimes they had a negative connotation linked to them, but there was always a beauty about them. I was taught growing up to respect, admire, and experience new cultures (which later caused me to be diagnosed with an incurable travel bug!), but this teaching laid the foundation for not only my art, but how I view the world today.
In my art I try to use anything that I can to explore the different aspects to human life that inspire me; whether it is the subject, the composition, or even the medium that I am working with. As a result my work includes many different mediums including but not limited to graphite, ink, acrylic, clay, photography, henna, etc. I have found a source of confidence, strength, and humbleness in myself through my art. This is what made me realize that I will always have art as a part of my life. I am currently a published artist, I have had my work shown in several different galleries in Montana and California, and have sold many of my pieces over the past couple of years. In the future I hope to continue to create art that allows me to learn.
Jessie Novak said her “art acts as a creative and therapeutic form of expression born out of a love for learning and the exploration of my heritage. I rely on my studio time as a chance to recharge and escape out of the ‘real world’ and into my created haven.”
Please contact Jessie at email@example.com if you are interested in purchasing her artwork or a commission. Follow @jessienovakart on Instagram to see more of her art.
In the words of artist Thomas Merton, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Through my work I strive to represent my interests and passions, as well as explore my Czech heritage. This allows me to lose myself in my passions for art and discovery, and find myself in the art of Czech Art Nouveau and the understanding of both my complicated heritage and the history of Czechoslovakia. In my work, I paint from many different sources of inspiration, including history, nature, and personal experience. I am incredibly drawn to the beautiful illustrative imagery of Czech Art Nouveau, the opulent metallics of the Rococo, and the stunning technical portraits of the Renaissance.
Growing up in Montana means that I was fortunate to be constantly surrounded by nature, with the woods being my back yard and playground as a child, and serving as a source of inspiration as an artist. This source of inspiration can be found in my use of nature imagery, ranging from plants to animals, as well as utilizing earth tones in various forms.
Due to recent research into my family history, particularly in the portion of my family from Czechoslovakia, I became fascinated by Czech culture and art. The more I discovered, the more intrigued I became. I learned that while the Czech Republic's artistic claim to fame is the Art Nouveau movement from 1890 to 1910 championed by artist Alphonse Mucha, many of the famous and iconic floral motifs and patterns stem from the influence of Bohemian, Morovian, and Solvakian cultures that were brought together to form Czechoslovakia during the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918.
As I learned more about this history, and tried to make sense of it, I knew that I wanted to represent aspects of Art Nouveau in my work as I fell in love with the color palettes, techniques, illustrative style, and complicated history. I wanted to have a way to represent my convoluted heritage through the development of my own visual style, while including Art Nouveau imagery and techniques.
“As a creator it can be tough living in a world full of rules and social norms,” said Isaac Petsch. “Art is a getaway for me where I can enter my own world where anything goes. There are no rules. No wrong answers. The freedom of art is what draws me in.” He enjoys art of all mediums but primarily works in acrylic and has produced some impressive pieces in photography, jewelry/metalwork, sculpture, and drawing.
Please contact Isaac at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in purchasing his artwork or a commission.
I came to Rocky Mountain College primarily to compete in Cross Country and Track & Field. Coming to college with no clue of what to study was quite the barrier. Through the core curriculum I was forced to take an art class which is still to this day one of my favorite classes. I loved expressing my creativity. I finally decided on computer science being my major and hoped for an art minor, taking any and every opportunity to add an art class to my schedule. By my senior year I was just four art credits shy of an art major and was thrilled to switch to a double major. I enjoy art of all mediums and constantly push myself to explore new methods. I started with painting and ventured around in photography, jewelry/metalwork, sculpture, and drawing. Upon graduation I hope to merge my two majors and work perhaps in some kind of web design field. Regardless of where I end up I will always be expressing myself in some art form.
Cheetah - plaster on chicken wire sculpture painted with acrylic. 24 x 39, inspired by Hamish Mackie (fragile), $200
Panther Skull Ring - silver (size 8.5), $200
Samurai - paper/wire sculpture painted in acrylic, 13 x 7 x 3.5, $115
Art creates connections, connecting us to both the past and the future. Art connects me to my family through both subject matter and medium. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit where my paternal grandparents grew up. This trip back east, to Maine and New Hampshire, inspired the artwork of my senior show. My art often reflects the outdoors and locations that are significant to me. A recurring theme in my artwork is a lighthouse, usually inspired by the Doubling Point Lighthouse I saw during my time in Maine. I enjoy working with a variety of mediums, but my medium of choice is usually painting with acrylics. Family members in both my grandfather's and grandmother’s family were artists who enjoyed painting. I find that art is a great way to express myself while also connecting me to my ancestors.
Please contact Bailey at email@example.com if you are interested in purchasing her artwork or a commission.
Art is something I have always enjoyed. One of my earliest memories was earning a paint set, filled with a variety of paints, brushes, and sponges. It amazed me as a child. I still find this amazement in art. I love trying new techniques and mediums. To me art is a continuous process of learning and experimenting.
Growing up in Billings, I have taken advantage of the many opportunities that the Yellowstone Art Museum provides including experiencing a variety of exciting exhibits. As a child, I attended many YAM classes and camps, which helped shape who I am today as an artist. In high school I took several art classes, which included design, drawing, ceramics, watercolor, and especially acrylics. In my acrylic class I painted my first lighthouse, leading to the inspiration for my senior show.
In the fall of 2016 I came to Rocky to study elementary education, yet I knew I still wanted to take art classes. My freshman year, after taking both a jewelry and metalworking class and a painting class, I realized that I wanted to spend more time creating artwork, so I added my art education minor. The classes I have taken have allowed me to learn and grow as an artist. They have provided me with a variety of new experiences.
You will see mainly acrylic paintings and metalworking in this show, visible among these pieces is my love of color and the palette knife. Many of these are inspired by the landscapes of Maine and New Hampshire.