Seniors present work at Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Exhibition

Ellie Thorne (left), a senior in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, exhibited a photography series she shot, the subject matter of which involved the many diverse people and stories in the Waco area. Her friend Tristen Coffee (right) attended. Thomas Moran | Arts and Life Editor

Thomas Moran | Arts and Life Editor

After four years of hard work and dedication to their crafts, this year’s bunch of Bachelor of Fine Arts seniors premiered their projects and portfolios at the 2019 B.F.A. Exhibition Thursday in the Martin Museum of Art. The exhibit featured works from a variety of mediums from prints to photography to graphic design.

The show takes place toward the end of every school year. According to Elisa Crowder, a desk attendant at the museum, the students showcased in the exhibit are each deeply involved in the process of installing and presenting their portion of the exhibit.

“The B.F.A. is for the graduating seniors. Each senior has to work to put together a special exhibition that they want to be the culmination of their careers at Baylor,” Crowder said. “They have to design the layout, hang it all themselves and get everything ready. It’s a big project. But they learn a lot of really important skills to prepare them for professional life.”

Director of the Martin Museum of Art Allison Chew designated the spots that the seniors each used to set up their art.

Each of the B.F.A. majors focuses in a particular area, and it was their art within that specialty that the students showcased.

“It’s a chance for them to show off everything that they’ve learned over four years of studying art, and in particular, this show emphasizes their area,” Crowder said. “So if they’re a painter, they’re only showing paintings. If they’re graphic design, they have a portfolio. This is their night to shine. “

The event, widely anticipated within the art department, is one of the foremost goals and milestones of non-seniors, Crowder said.

“The people who have not yet come and support them, and they look forward and think, ‘I’m going to have a moment like this two or three years from now.”

This story came true for San Antonio senior Mary Louise Randolph.

“I came and visited Baylor when I was a senior in high school, and I came to this show,” Randolph said. “It was really crazy because I never thought that I would get there. Now that we’re all here it’s really meaningful. I’m trying not to think about it.”

Having concentrated in graphic design, Randolph showed a collection of projects, one of which was an origami project from her sophomore year in the program.

“We were assigned to do an origami brochure for an origami society, and I chose the British Origami Society,” Randolph said.

Drawing inspiration from British culture, Randolph’s brochure could be folded into the shape of a bulldog and drew color from the British flag.

In another part of the exhibit, Arlington senior Ellie Thorne presented a collection of photographs she took of a diverse group people from the Waco area.

“It’s like this vulnerable moment of something I have put my heart and soul into for three months — some of us our whole college career — and here it is on one wall,” Thorne said.

Thorne found the original inspiration for her project in the joy she witnessed from one of Baylor’s custodial staff members named Emelda.

“I started very broad and let the project and God transform into what it is now,” Thorne said. “The overlying theme is joy in the mundane. My biggest hope was the people would see the project and relate to it and see that even in extremely heartbreaking topics like trauma, addiction or homelessness, that there are people who care and there’s joy in that.”

San Antonio sophomore MaryCallen Freeman attended the opening, and said she found the artists and their journeys to be inspiring.

“It’s very powerful,” Freeman said. “Getting to see all of the different types of art that the seniors do is really inspiring and encouraging to get to see the different ways they manifest their creativity in the physical.