Feature Articles

April 2013

Coker College in Hartsville, SC, Features Works by Art Majors

Coker College in Hartsville, SC, will present spring art exhibitions in the Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery featuring three different shows in April and May: one per week from Apr. 15 through May 3, 2013, with an opening reception from 7 to 8pm each Monday evening.

Senior exhibitions, a 44-year tradition at Coker, are required of graduating art majors and are intended to represent the culmination of four years of study and offer a glimpse of the directions the artists may explore with their work following graduation.

Caitlin Johnson leads off the senior exhibits with an opening on Apr. 15. Originally from Sacramento, CA, Johnson grew up in Spartanburg, SC, where she moved with her parents as a young child. She came to Coker in 2009 as a Fine Art Major and has chosen painting as her area of concentration. After graduation, she plans to find a job that will allow her to continue painting.

“Gender, identity and separation of biological and social dogmas are the meat of my work,” said Johnson. “Through paint, I explore and create my own vision of androgyny: my own construction of gender that the outside world doesn’t allow. I use the symbolism and body language of Catholic imagery as a voice and catalyst for my painting.”

Megan Harris opens her show on Apr. 22. Harris was born and raised in Florence, SC. She came to Coker in 2009 as a psychology major but soon switched to photography because “it felt so right to take photos.” Harris also serves as a department mentor, assisting students in navigating the challenges of the major to ensure that they succeed in the program. She was recently awarded Departmental Honors in Art for her leadership role. After graduation, Harris plans to build her own darkroom and continue working as a fine art photographer.

“Cause and effect are huge factors in my work,” said Harris. “The figures in my photos reflect upon my life experiences, dreams and academic studies.” Commenting on her choice of film over digital photography, she said, “I fell in love with film photography because it allows me to participate in every aspect of creating a photograph.”

Katelyn Hill’s show will finish the exhibition season with an opening on Apr. 29. Hill is a native of Hartsville, her mother went to Coker, and she said she “knew at a young age she wanted to attend Coker College.” For her, the question was not where but what? “After two years of exploration, and a one year hiatus, I knew art with a concentration in graphic design was the answer to that question.“

Coker’s art program is rigorous and that aspect of the program is apparent when Hill says, “I have stepped out of my zone of comfort. Through the exploration of difficult issues, I have grown as a person and an artist. My eyes have been opened and my knowledge increased.”

The receptions for each show are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Coker College upholds and defends the intellectual and artistic freedom of its faculty and students as they study and create art through which they explore the full spectrum of human experience. The college considers such pursuits central to the spirit of inquiry and thoughtful discussion, which are at the heart of a liberal arts education.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call Larry Merriman at 843/383-8156 or visit (www.ceceliacokerbellgallery.com).


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