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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Art exhibition to showcase perspectives of identity

%28Back%3A+Left+to+Right%29+Keiran+Greer%2C+Mariela+Lopez%2C+Asia+Estelle%2C+Avery+Michel%2C+Gretchen+Garlitos%2C+Lauren+Morales+%28Front%3A+Left+to+Right%29+Halle+Dillard%2C+Mae+Peacock%2C+Lena+Wilson-Martinez+and+Rachel+Miller+pose%2C+Friday%2C+April+12%2C+2024%2C+at+Texas+State.
Photo Courtesy of Niaya Ramirez
(Back: Left to Right) Keiran Greer, Mariela Lopez, Asia Estelle, Avery Michel, Gretchen Garlitos, Lauren Morales (Front: Left to Right) Halle Dillard, Mae Peacock, Lena Wilson-Martinez and Rachel Miller pose, Friday, April 12, 2024, at Texas State.

Synecdoche: Identity Through _____ Exhibition was created by ten Texas State students and will open from 6-9 p.m. on April 27 at the Texas Ski Ranch in
New Braunfels.

The artists created the collaborative exhibition as an assignment for their professional practice and portfolio class and have worked on this project since the beginning of the spring semester. According to Rachel Miller, a ceramics senior, the art students worked together to find a general theme, and they individually created art based on each students’ interpretation of the theme.

“We all thought about it together and just figured out how we could make this exhibition the best we could,” Miller said. “It’s definitely been a big group accomplishment.”

Each member of the exhibition chose to represent their theme of identity through different lenses, such as community, “queerness” and intimacy. The exhibition will showcase these themes through various mediums including ceramics, sculptures, metal, painting, photography and drawing.

“The whole purpose of our exhibition is not for each of us to show our own work but for us to come together and show an overarching theme,” Halle Dillard, a sculpture senior, said.

Dillard chose intimacy as her theme. She centers her work around femininity, introspection and nostalgia and draws inspiration from journaling and prose.

“I rely on and I’m inspired by self and queer love,” Dillard said. “I also like to lean into female power and embracing femininity. I like to express a lot of myself in my work so that has helped me unravel aspects of my own heart.”

Kerian Greer, a drawing senior, is a multidisciplinary artist who creates conceptual artwork to express the properties of the mind, body and soul through drawings and biomorphic sculptures for her neurology theme. According to Greer, biomorphic art pertains to the natural things within the world.

“Each piece begins under a neurological or psychological concept,” Greer said. “I remember to illustrate the relationship between the visual experience and the mental interpretation manifested, depicting the synchronistic interplay of the two.”

The group is responsible for choosing the venue and funding the event. Greer organized a fundraiser to contribute to the supplies needed for the exhibition, live music and refreshments. The students are close to their goal of $775.

Growing up in a small town, Avery Michel, a painting senior, did not feel like they had many ways to express their identity, so they found art as an outlet. At the exhibition, Michel will showcase paintings on their perception of identity through an LGBTQ+ lens. According to Michel’s artist statement, their art alludes to graphic novels, LGBTQ+ culture, religion and mythology.

“I like discussing the ever-changing sense of self and the culmination of how I view myself through queerness,” Michel said. “I’ve [always been] really creatively inclined. [Art] definitely was an escape for me.”

Asia Estelle, a photography senior, chose Blackness as her theme because it is a large part of her identity. Estelle’s journey as an artist began when she took a photography class in high school, and she later decided to pursue photography as her future career. In the past, Estelle centered her work on her journey in wearing her natural hair.

“Now my practice is shifting into … Blackness and Black experience and everything that entails,” Estelle said.

Now, Estelle is the president of the Middle Grey Photography Association at Texas State, which is open to any student regardless of their major or experience. Through this association, Estelle curated two other art exhibitions for her members.

“The want to put your work out there and have a platform and to showcase yourself and all your hard work on something [is] something I really, really wanted to do for my members,”
Estelle said.

Some of the art displayed at the exhibition will be available for purchase. Entry to the exhibition is free of charge. To read the artists’ statements and for updates on the exhibition, see their Instagram account @identitythrough______.

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