Student artists display work

Apr 23, 2012 | General News, Liberal Arts

Six emerging artists are showcasing their talents as the Louisiana Tech University School of Art is presenting an art exhibition through May 3.
Called “Point of Advent,” the exhibition showcases the work of six Master of Fine Arts candidates at Tech as they begin their professional careers.  Each of the artist’s work is a reflection of the three years they have spent perfecting and mastering their individual craft. Drawing from personal influences, this show proves to be a manifestation of each artist’s pursuit for excellence. Photographs, paintings, prints and book-making round out the collection on exhibition.
The students whose work is being shown are Ashley Feagin, Adrian Dean Gipson, Dan Snow, Tennille Paden, Rachul McClintic and Caleb Clark.
Feagan based her exhibit on bereavement and said that research suggests that the attachment style that was fostered during childhood will be an indicator to the style of coping of loss during adulthood. Specifically with people who are emotionally significant to us, the ideals of those people will remain and become part of our inner conversation after the person is gone.
“This series of photographs depicts the ups and downs of the seven years since my mother passed away from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma,” Feagin said. “Three different photographic styles were used to depict denial, remembrance and mourning. The images are visual manifestation of the process in which I have grieved and still am grieving.”
Some of Feagin’s work can be found online at
Gipson said the main concept behind her artwork is centered on how she solves problems and processes information that is new to her. In her work she uses geometric and organic forms to represent manmade objects. She said the organic forms represent things from nature and are merged together to symbolize the similarities between them.
“My dad is a bricklayer and part time church pianist,” Gipson said. “I spent my summers learning masonry work, and my weekends learning musical instruments. These two facets of my upbringing gave me a great respect for handcraft skills and professional expertise. When I look at any man-made device, I usually ponder on its creator. The conversations my dad, my brothers and I would have, and the morals I learned through the nature of this kind of labor, played a vital role in the making of my personality. While working, my dad often told these short stories that were like parables. He would relate something about bricklaying to a real life situation, and explain how to deal with that situation. The day-to-day perseverance, planned execution and troubleshooting I was taught in masonry work is the basic premise I apply to my artwork and any goal I set out to accomplish. My Dad taught me to approach everything in a planned and ordered way.
“When I attempt to solve a problem, or learn new information, I do so by looking for general patterns and rhythms and then I create a working process based on those rhythms and patterns. My goal is to share these analogies with the viewer and have them experience it in their own way.”
Snow said his interest in this work manifested itself in his childhood due to his father’s career as a police officer.
“I have a strong passion to understand the darker side of humanity, and how people like my father are there to protect us from these horrors,” Snow said. “The death scenes I am photographing, I approach as both an investigator and artist. When visiting these places, I find some kind of beauty in them, but I ask myself: is there an emotional stain that has been left behind on the landscape? Is the location changed forever? How do the survivors cope? This body of work titled ‘Aftermath’ addresses these questions. These images portray the passage of time and the healing process; that for better or for worse, life goes on.
“Over the past year, I have gone to different locations where some kind of tragedy has taken place. Fatal accidents, crimes, war and natural catastrophes. The history of these locations may be viewed as dark or morbid, but they have a strange beauty about them. A beauty that exemplifies Victor Hugo’s definition of the sublime as a combination of the grotesque and the beautiful. When I am making my photographs, I try to keep this definition in mind.”
Some of Snow’s work can be found online at
Paden said her creations are a perfect pairing between the old and the new, familiar and cutting edge and that she centers on using a hybrid method of combining both longstanding and innovative technologies.
“The colors and textures made on a hand printing press create an aesthetic sensibility that cannot be reproduced by a graphic generated solely on a computer,” Paden said. “I communicate my ideas by starting with a photograph, manipulating it on the computer, transferring it to plate or stone, then printing out the image. The end product takes on a depth not otherwise possible. This technique works to bridge the gap between new technology and traditional processes such as stone lithography and copper plate printing. By balancing my hours spent on the computer with hours on the press I create my one of a kind hybrid art.”
Some of Paden’s work can be found online at
McClintic said that compelling experiences from a female perspective fuel the depiction of figures and symbols that interact within claustrophobic surreal-like spaces in her artwork.
“This work reflects states of relationships and female empowerment,” McClintic said. “Through photographic images, my work seeks to simultaneously allure and alienate, exposing elements of fixation, vacant seduction and unsavory exploitation. Clandestine deeds and strange interactions between the figures speak of instability, fetish and obsession.”
Some of McClintic’s work can be found online at
Clark said family played a big role in his exhibit.
“The term family represents a group of people that live together and rely on one another,” Clark said. “The challenge individuals in families face is adapting to changes. As children we are dependent on those around us to raise and shape us. Because we are individuals, not everyone in the family always agrees. The act of defiance is a natural process, which results from our instinctive strive for personal freedom, while reliant on our families for support, love and affection.
“The body of work I have been cultivating for the past three years represents my life and journey through graduate school as a student, father, lover, son, grandson and more. The photographs are a visual projection of my inner thoughts, dwellings, and predicaments.  This work has acted as a form of dialogue for me, providing a way to communicate and learn about myself. ‘Dependence and Defiance’ is my personal diary. It tells stories about the relationships with my family. These images have the ability to put feelings back into my soul, they open a window to the past and provide a unique method of experiencing life.”
Samples of Clark’s work can be found online at
Tech’s School of Art galleries are located in the F. Jay Taylor Visual Arts Center between Tech Drive and Mayfield Street, next to the Natatorium and across from A.E. Phillips School. The galleries are open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free. For more information please call the School of Art at 318-257-3909 or visit the School of Art website at
Written by T. Scott Boatright