Senior art theses now on display in Staniar Gallery

Six studio art majors are showing off their senior thesis projects


Six seniors display their theses in Lenfest. Photo courtesy of Emma Coleman, ’21.

Maggie Barker

Six seniors publically debuted their artwork for the annual senior theses exhibition at a reception in the Staniar Art Gallery on Thursday, March 28.

The reception celebrated the work of the graduating studio art majors. The exhibit opened on Monday, March 25 in the gallery and will be on display through Friday, April 5. The seniors represented are Mary Catherine Greenleaf, Michael Kerr, Iman Messado, Brianna Osaseri, Brittany Osaseri and Julia Schloss.

According to the Lenfest Center for the Arts’ webpage, the exhibition gives the young artists an opportunity to create a cohesive body of work to be shown in a professional setting. The exhibit features a wide range of art works in various media including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography and sculpture.

As family, friends, peers and professors gathered in the the gallery, each artist presented their artwork. They explained the inspiration and meaning behind creating their theses, a process that began during their junior year seminar. 

“You kind of go through different stages where it’s just using every kind of medium, flushing out as many ideas as possible,” said Schloss. 

Schloss said her thesis was influenced by the idea of a gardener leaving his garden with no one left to take care of the flowers besides nature itself.

“There’s some sort of shift and transition of how much still lives versus how much dies,” Schloss said. “The main inspiration is focusing on that transition between the living and the dead and finding some sort of abstract beauty in removing the human contact of said garden.”

During the fall term of their senior year, the artists have a thesis class twice a week where they focus on one topic. 

Kerr said he began by making collages of people from magazines, but did not initially have a complete vision. He said that the senior theses advisors encouraged him to keep working on the concept, which led him to cut away the faces of famous people. This inspired the idea for his thesis.

Michael Kerr, ’19, discusses his artwork. Photo by Emma Coleman, ’21.

“The main concept deals with taking away the notable aspects of famous people and bringing them into the same playing field,” Kerr said. “Getting people to look at them… just as players in this overall scheme of pop culture.”

The seniors drew inspiration from a variety of places, sometimes personal. Brianna Osaseri was inspired by a dream that she recorded in a notebook when she was about 10 years old.

“I kept going back to that same notebook adding more and more thoughts until eventually I was like ‘I want to make a story out of this,’” Brianna Osaseri said. 

The artwork and stories in anime and manga inspired her to write and draw her own. Eventually, she decided she wanted to illustrate the story in her notebook.

“It wasn’t until I got to W&L that I took a comic class to actually figure out the comic format,” Brianna Osaseri said. “I decided to take that same story that I had in fifth grade and make an actual comic book out of it.”

Her display in the gallery includes scenes from her comic book and other pieces to compliment the story. Copies of the first three chapters of her comic are available, with the first two chapters fully rendered and the third chapter in line work.

The art exhibit will be on display through Friday, April 5. Entry is open to the public.