Exhibition sets stage for students’ impending graduation

Jaylin Lassiter
Jaylin Lassiter

The Radford University Art Museum on Tyler Avenue hosted a reception on Nov. 9 featuring works by Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) candidates in the studio art curriculum.

The exhibition, which runs through Dec. 6, features the works of MFA candidate Joel Gibbs and BFA candidates Sarah Carriker, Jaylin Lassiter and Kevin McCurdy. More than 100 students, faculty, family and friends were on hand to celebrate the artists and their work.

"This what they need to do, and they are doing it and doing it well," said College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) Dean Margaret Devaney. "These students are proud of their work and their pride reflects the faculty mentorship and connection that drives the CVPA and Radford."

In December, Gibbs of Blacksburg, will don his hood as a MFA with a concentration in painting. His exhibition featured six works – four oil paintings and two mixed media pieces, two of which were accepted for the 2017 FL3TCH3R Exhibit of socially and politically engaged art at the Reece Museum in Johnson City, Tennessee.

“Looking at the pieces in the studio is not the same as at an exhibition surrounded by people who have helped me,” said Gibbs. “This is the place where I can see the response to my work. It is nice to feel more involved.”

Carricker, of Alexandria, is one of the first recipients of the new Andrew W. Ross Endowed Photography Scholarship and seven of her photographs were featured at the exhibition.

“It is intense and exciting. I feel honored and relieved to get to this last step in a process that began two and a half years ago when I went thru a portfolio review and the faculty challenged me to see things closer and focus deeper.  At Radford, everyone has been so supportive,” said Carricker, whose parents, Brad ’85 and Cindy ’86, were on hand.

“I am so proud of what she was able to do here - earning a scholarship and 4.0 GPA, being part of academic honor society and now this. I am glowing,” Brad Carriker said.

Joel Gibbs
Joel Gibbs

Lassiter is a BFA candidate from Chesapeake, Virginia, who will graduate in December. Her exhibition featured six 30-inch x 40-inch canvas oil paintings that celebrate the natural beauty of African-American hair.

“The exhibition is a way to share what my work, process and vision are about,” said Lassiter, who was joined by her parents, sister and a cousin from Chesapeake for the evening.

Lassiter said the first step of her process is to sketch with charcoal or graphite pencil.

“Then I figure out the color palette and paint with wire brushes and tools to get the texture. It is fun because I can continue to mix and manipulate the paint and the color to get what I am looking for,” Lassiter said.

McCurdy, a senior BFA candidate in graphic design from Lorton, Virginia, was one of the first graphic design students to be featured at the pre-commencement gallery exhibition. McCurdy, who also paints, works in water colors and does photography and digital illustration, exhibited 15 works.

“I can see a progression over four years –  from random and pointless to a more thoughtful creative and expanding portfolio that reflects my passion for art,” said McCurdy.

Associate Professor of Art Ken Smith also recognized McCurdy’s progress, saying, “Kevin has made amazing progress that comes from individual effort. As a teacher, you know students are engaged when they work independently. Kevin has done that and more.”

Nov 19, 2018
Don Bowman