By: Cole Hatcher

To be instructed thoroughly in a subject is to be “Grounded” – the name of the upcoming exhibition by Ohio Wesleyan University’s Class of 2024 graduating Fine Arts majors.

The May graduates will showcase the skills they acquired as Ohio Wesleyan students during the “Grounded” exhibition, on display from April 13 to May 11 at Ohio Wesleyan’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. Featuring works juried by OWU Fine Arts faculty, the exhibition will open with a free community reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at the museum. (The annual reception typically marks the only time each year the museum offers Saturday hours.)

Simultaneously with the “Grounded” exhibit, the Ross will be exhibiting “Restore,” a collection of 31 newly conserved masterworks from the museum’s permanent collection. These artworks have been cleaned and restored by the Cleveland-based ICA-Art Conservation (originally known as Intermuseum Conservation Association) using a 2021 Inspire! Grant awarded to the university by the Institute for Museum and Library Services. The restored works feature pieces by artists who have contributed to major movements in Western art history including Francisco Goya, Käthe Kollowitz, Jack Levine, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Miro, Rene Magritte, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.

“The senior art show provides an opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the achievements of our students,” said Kristina Bogdanov, MFA, professor of Fine Arts and department chair. “It is a moment of retrospect combined with celebration of craft, concept, creativity, ingenuity, and resourcefulness. … ‘Grounded’ means the power of harnessing the energy and ideas as a creative lightning that charges our graduates to be brave and to be the light in the ever-changing world. …

“As faculty, we are thankful for the symbiotic dynamic of the mentor-mentee relationship,” Bogdanov said. “It has been both a pleasure and challenge to complete this four-year college cycle, and we have deepest appreciation for our seniors and their families.”

Ohio Wesleyan graduating seniors scheduled to participate in the “Grounded” exhibit and their academic and artistic interests include:


Holly Bostian ’24

Holly Bostian of Zionsville, Indiana, a Fine Arts-Studio Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) major. “I am a painter and printmaker who explores gender, sexuality, and desirability,” said Bostian, who plans to remain in central Ohio after graduation. “I use my history with realistic drawing practice with my more recent love of abstract expressionism, blending more realistically rendered human and animal body parts with elements of abstraction, like undefined spaces and expressive brush strokes and colors. … I hope to create pieces that allow the viewer to create their own sense of narrative about the liberating aspects of gender expression in contrast to the pain of pressured conformity and misogyny.”


Rebecca Coppenbarger ’24

Rebecca Coppenbarger of Greenville, South Carolina, a Genetics and Fine Arts-Studio Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) double major. “Every project I embark on is a journey,” said Coppenbarger, who plans to attend graduate school after a gap year. “It starts with an idea and leads me into a maze of visual puzzles. It pulls me into a type of focus that I only feel when doing art. … I attempt to decipher that unsettling feeling when faced with the bizarre in order to obtain a better understanding of our emotions and what prompts them – a greater kinship between emotion and rationality.”


Gabrielle Deacon ’24

Gabrielle Deacon of Wheelersburg, Ohio, a Fine Arts-Studio BFA major with a concentration in painting. “[M]y work has gradually become more focused on the concept of unrestricted internet access in childhood,” said Deacon who hopes to attend graduate school and pursue a career in higher education. “This process began when I spent the fall semester of my junior year in New York, at the New York Arts Program’s studio residency. Within ‘The Trauma of Digitalization,‘ my recent solo exhibition at (Ohio Wesleyan’s) Werner Gallery, I visualized my exploration of how accessibility to disturbing information on the internet can influence people’s perceptions of sex and relationships.”


Brooke Hoffman ’24

Brooke Hoffman of Oregon, Ohio, a Fine Arts-Art Education (graphic arts concentration), French, and Multi-Age Education triple major. “When I was in elementary school, I would rush home from school and do one of two things: play pretend school or make art,” said Hoffman, who hopes to carve out a career that incorporates all three of her majors. “Through my studies in both my art and French classes, I have grown to love Henri Matisse and his quote, ‘There are always flowers for those who want to see them.’ As I experience my final semester on campus, I choose to look back on college, picking out the flowers of these four years and creating a beautiful bouquet of memories in my mind.”


Chloe Kocel ’24

Chloe Kocel of Worthington, Ohio, a Fine Arts-Art Education and Special Education double major and a Multi-Age Education License minor. “Most of my inspiration stems from a love of northwestern landscape paintings as well as narrative art and its role in art nouveau,” said Kocel, who hopes to work at an elementary school as either an art teacher or intervention specialist. “I fuse these elements to create worlds tinged with magic and mystery. My ceramic work aims to create objects that might come from this supernatural world. I do this to imply spiritual significance in nature, and to grasp memories of stories shared with friends.”


Indigo Millisor ’24

Indigo Millisor of Delaware, Ohio, a Fine Arts-Studio BFA major (drawing and graphic design concentrations) and a Sociology/Anthropology minor. “I am an illustrator and mark maker who explores complex emotions, my identity, and showcases underrepresented populations in my work,” said Millisor, who hopes to study social work and pursue a career in art therapy. “When I was a child, I was not able to verbally communicate well and was given art as a medium to convey myself. This is still very true today at the age of 23. … I create pieces surrounding topics of social justice, mental and physical health, stigma, disability, gender identity, sexuality, and personal stories that I feel words fall flat.”


Colin Prindle ’24

Colin Prindle of Delaware, Ohio, a Fine Arts-Studio BFA major (ceramics concentration). “My work focuses on process, family, and local geology. Collecting and processing my wild Tilford clay body has created a space for meditation on naturalism in my own identity as an artist. The Tilford clay body is collected from my family’s property in Mount Gilead, Ohio. Bringing to light a new body of iron-rich stoneware clay from property that I was raised on gives me a feeling of responsibility to create something that feels larger than myself,” said Prindle who plans to continue learning about the clay body while teaching pottery-throwing classes in Delaware.


Sophia Staples-Roy ’24

Sophia Staples-Roy of Hopkinton, New Hampshire, a Fine Arts-Studio BFA major (graphic design concentration). Staples-Roy said her work “explores typography, imagery, color, and composition in order to convey messages with clarity and conviction” to “provoke thought and engage” her audience, regardless of whether she is creating for digital or print. She also says she has “loved being a part of the small community” at Ohio Wesleyan, which has inspired her in work and life.


During the academic year, the Ross Art Museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is handicap-accessible and admission is always free. Call (740) 368-3606 or visit owu.edu/ross for more information.

Created in 1864, Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Fine Arts was one of America’s first college art departments. Today, it offers both Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees. Learn more about the department, its majors and minors, and its faculty at owu.edu/FineArts.

Cover Photo: Ohio Wesleyan’s graduating senior art show opens on Saturday, April 13, with a free, public reception at the Ross Art Museum. Students, including Delaware resident Colin Prindle, will exhibit works selected for the show by a jury of OWU Fine Arts professors. (Photo by Sisi Fish ’24)

Source, Photos: OWU


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