Seniors showcase final work

Exhibits in Foster Art Gallery demonstrate student accomplishments


THAT’S SO FETCH: Senior Hannah Fechner standing with her clothing line display titled “Invigorate,” which is on display in The Foster Art Gallery in Early May. © 2014 Rachel Streich, The Spectator

Story by Rachel Streich, Staff Writer

For the 16 students planning to graduate with a bachelor of fine arts degree, one project caps off the entire college experience.

“It’s meant to embody everything we’ve worked toward in our majors,” Graphic design major Hannah Fechner said.

Seniors like Fechner have spent the last months  of the semester working on pieces to present for the senior exhibitions in the Foster Art Gallery.

The first show “Synthesis” runs April 30-May 4 and the second show, “Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Show,” will take place May 8-12. Each exhibit includes work from eight students.

The first show features an array of art forms from sculptures to graphic design to photography. Gallery Director Tom Wagener said the variety demonstrates how artists pick different paths.

Fechner branded a clothing line, which she titled “Invigorate.” She designed logos, stickers, hand-stamped tags and other elements compiled into a display of graphic design work.

Fechner said she drew inspiration from Urban Outfitters, Free People and Ralph Lauren’s Denim Supply to create relaxed, standout clothing. The piece has a friendly, rugged feel, she said.

The senior exhibits give students the opportunity to show friends, family and others in the Eau Claire community what they have been doing for the past four years, Fechner said. She said her piece will benefit her in the future as well.

“If I were to be working within corporate, it shows how people will be seeing (my work) in everyday life,” Fechner said. “It has a real-world application.”

After graduating, Fechner said  she hopes to freelance for design companies. The piece she put together for the Foster Art Gallery is a solid addition to her professional portfolio, she said.

Her single project includes multiple parts, but Fechner said the piece came together well.

Emily Lau, an art illustration major, said creating her portraits and comics for the show was a learning experience as well.

She originally envisioned creating a full story with comics, but plans changed and she finished with two comic pages and three portraits of graphic novelists.

Lau said the works of graphic novelists influenced her comics and she incorporated their styles into hers.

“It’s very rewarding seeing it all framed,” she said.

While Fechner worked on her piece in her own time, Lau completed her pieces for her advanced illustration class. The class project allowed her to complete her first work in an exhibit.

Looking forward to the second show, student Matt Steil is continuing to work on a rebranding of the Soundset music festival. He will be showing T-shirts, posters, VIP passes and other pieces of his graphic design in a contemporary rendition of the festival’s material.

Steil said the show is a good experience for him to display his work on campus.

“It’s a nice thing to have as you graduate, to have something for people to see,” Steil said, “It’s like a crowning achievement on top of all the other work you’ve done.”