By Lauren Jeu
There is a misconception that senior year is full of no work and all play. While underclassmen are complaining about their deadlines and tests and shouting that they “can’t wait for this school year to just be over,” seniors are spending their every moment finishing or perfecting their Senior projects, theses, and research. In the corner of Rosa Deal School of Arts, there are three particular seniors working hard in their private studios: the art students. These three individuals have been working since January to put together the annual Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Showcase for the spring. The theme this year is “Unfiltered” and it’s easy to see why. These students have uncovered truths, stripped away the embellishments, and exposed the individuality that makes them unique.
We asked seniors Lauren Jeu (Natural Science), Lennox Lee (Visual Arts), and Alex Swanson (Visual Arts) a few questions about their process, collection, and what it means to be “Unfiltered.”
What inspired your collection?
Lauren: I’m a big fan of movies, especially sci-fi. I’ve had this idea in my head for a couple of years now to write a movie about an alien invasion. The collection focuses on the in-progress or pre-production that goes into making a movie since I want to go into the film industry after college. This project gave me a taste of all the different components that go into that.
Lennox: I’ve always been fascinated with people and their differences. I grew up with self-esteem issues and didn't know what made me different from anyone else. I became accustomed to being around people like me. I feel like I became more diverse and cultured (Migos reference) when I became a college student. I loved the variety of ideas, beliefs, and mindsets.
Alex: I think what inspired my project was just dealing with daily issues that technology did to prohibit me from spending time with my family and friends.
How do you hope the audience will feel or respond when they see your collection?
Lauren: I hope they appreciate the hard work that goes into making any art – films, paintings, clothes, music, etc. I think artists get a lot of smack because we “don’t have to study” or “it’s not a real major,” but we work hard to create beautiful content that exist in our daily lives.
Lennox: In short, I hope that the audience will understand the importance of being an individual and not having to conform to social norms to be accepted. Self-acceptance is a major key.
Alex: I hope the audience can capture the effectiveness that technology has on human interaction and what it has done to our generation and what will happen in the future if we keep pursuing a lifestyle we currently are living.
Describe your collection in 3 words.
Lauren: Work in Progress
Lennox: BE YOUR OWN
Alex: I hate technology.
What challenges did you face when creating your collection?
Lauren: I’ve never had any formal training in film or video. I’ve done a few costumes and edited videos before, but I’ve never written a script or drawn storyboards or anything like that. The script was probably the hardest, because without it, I couldn’t do the storyboards. There were a lot of formatting rules I had to learn. I put it off for months because I couldn’t motivate myself to write. Then I locked myself in my room for 3.5 days and wrote almost the entire thing. I finished at 5:30 the morning of Easter and woke up for church 2 hours later. It’s 130 pages long.
Lennox: The most challenging thing for me was being able to bring my idea to fruition. Having an idea or thought was simple because most times your own ideas make sense but putting in the work to make it a reality for other people to understand was the most difficult.
Alex: I have trouble with having to make my images 21x38.5 because it is such an odd size to print.
Which piece are you most proud of?
Lauren: Probably the costume. I had such positive responses when I tell people I’m making it. People would see me working in my studio and ask if we have a fashion design class. I had never made a sleeve before and I was pretty pleased with how it came out. I haven’t tried it on yet, but it’s stretchy so it should fit.
Lennox: Probably the heads I created. I had a few struggles working with it, but I'm really proud of how it came to be.
Alex: The pieces I am most proud of are my giant text messages that will go all the way up on the wall and the content in them are relatable to everyone who will come
What does “Unfiltered” mean to you?
Lauren: To me “unfiltered” means to be transparent and honest. We’re not trying to trick you with flourishes and special effects. The things we made for this show are real, raw, and reveal the truth.
Lennox: Raw, not able to be contained. I think of it as another way to say that I can’t be put in a box.
Alex: Unfiltered to me means that, you’re raw. You are you fully and there is nothing masking your personality or the way you look. That’s also what I want people to capture in my show is that you should be you without worrying about trying to impress other people.
Why should people come to the BFA show?
Lauren: Because we all worked so hard! Seriously, the three of us all have so many other deadlines this week we are trying to get through. I’m a hard worker by nature but I don’t think I have put in this much energy into any other assignment over my 4 years here (that may or may not be true, but it’s up there).
Lennox: Our BFA show is definitely friendly for all ages, but mostly for the generation of the now. We pretty much cover things that youth are interested in but make it simple for other to be involved with.
Alex: Because the seniors in this show are awesome!! Their ideas are great and we all have worked tremendously hard to get to the place we are at now.
Be sure to attend the BFA Art Show: Unfiltered Opening Reception on Saturday, April 29 at Crosstown Arts (430 N. Cleveland St.) from 6 - 8 PM. The show will also be open to the public on Sunday, April 30 from 11 AM - 4 PM.