By Nicole Veenstra
The term “starving artist” quickly floods the mind with images of an individual willingly sacrificing his or her well-being in order to gain recognition through art. However, three seniors at Rider have been given the opportunity to skip over the starved feeling and exhibit a selection of original pieces at the art gallery from April 17-23.
Seniors Kellie Marshall, Nicole Meyer and Megan Moyer are headlining the exhibition with a mix of different mediums, including drawings and paintings.
Moyer, who is majoring in secondary education, English and art, shared her feelings about the upcoming show and why she feels she is ready for the presentation.
“I was scared that I would not get everything done because I am student teaching this semester,” she said. “But I also felt flattered because I know that Professor Rosenthal wouldn’t recommend that I sign up for a course that I would be unprepared to take.”
Meyer, a double major in elementary education and fine arts, agreed that she is ready, though she admitted having her own show did not cross her mind until the opportunity presented itself.
“I never thought that I would have my own show, so it’s fun,” she said. “It’s weird because I’m never the type of person to be like, ‘Oh, look at my stuff,’ so to have a show of my own is really exciting.”
Deborah Rosenthal, professor of fine arts and the adviser for Meyer and Moyer, does not deny that the lengthy process is both time-consuming and intimidating, but says that the experience students get from organizing a show of their own is not an opportunity given to everyone.
“When someone works intensively with me I say, ‘Let’s do the senior honors thesis, you deserve to,’” Rosenthal said. “If I think there’s beautiful work going on, I tell the student, ‘I think this is something you should do.’”
Rosenthal initiated the senior honors thesis exhibition when she came to Rider over 20 years ago. She said her students have always seen the show as a demonstration of their development and growth.
“What a senior honors thesis is for an art student is an exhibition and an essay that represents not what [they’ve done] in a given semester, but what [they’ve] been doing during the four years at Rider,” Rosenthal said.
However, the majority of art students initially showed interest in creating art long before college began.
“My grandmother used to take me to CVS on a corner near my house for art supplies when I was little,” Moyer said. “I had almost every Crayola product they had at the time.”
Creativity and a love for creating pieces are both criteria for a future in art, though the ability to find inspiration and learn from those who have come before is also very important, according to Rosenthal.
In an excerpt from Meyer’s thesis, provided by Rosenthal, she mentions just how important it is to study other artists.
“I have come to feel that in order to make good and great works of art, artists must study the artists who have come before them,” Meyer wrote. “It is through understanding great artists’ paintings that I have learned about my own strengths and weaknesses as an artist.”
Time management and dedication are also necessary, as the preparation for the show includes making sure each piece is complete.
“I am very excited about the show,” Moyer said. “I hope it will be a great success and I hope that a lot of people will come out and see what I have been up to while I was hauled up in the studio all hours of the day and night.”
No matter where a person pulls inspiration from, Rosenthal feels the exhibition is a fantastic opportunity for the few students it is given to.
“I think it’s always a great experience for my students,” she said. “I really love getting somebody to come to the point where they can see a body of work and see his or her own development.”