Every year the end of spring term marks a wave of senior capstone presentations and performances at Principia College. 11 + 4 is a collection of thirty defining works created by the 15 studio art majors graduating this spring or next fall. The title is derived from the 11 students with a graphics concentration and four students with a concentration in fine arts. However, this group displays its versatility in the exhibit. For example, most of the featured artists are showing at least one piece of fine art in the exhibition.

The graphics majors are Benjamin Black, Bekah Charlston, Alyssa Cheatham, Drew Clark, Jessica Dunlap, Stuart Foti, Jon Hammond, Felix Setordzie, Samuel Thomas, Marina Whitney, and Ken Baughman. The fine arts majors are Gabrielle Alioto, Genevieve Bergeson, Caroline Korthals, and Kendall McMurray.

The work included in this exhibit is among the most powerful and compelling work completed during each student’s time at Principia. As capstone portfolio instructor Duncan Martin said, “[The exhibit] goes beyond the things that people have been doing in class to something that actually expresses themselves.”  Martin observed his students increasingly expressing their individuality as the show approached.

The gallery was launched on April 21 with an opening show held for the public.  The event was well-received, and over 100 students, faculty, administrators, and community members attending. Visitors were able to browse the gallery and discuss works with the artists.

In addition to the visual works featured in 11 + 4, each student wrote an artist statement and autobiography as part of their capstone writing class with Assistant Professor Danne Rhaesa. These selections inform visitors of the purpose and direction of each artist’s work. The gallery also features a collection of portraits taken by Thomas to introduce viewers to the artists.

Martin recalls that at the beginning of the semester, Rhaesa and he had posed the questions: “Who are you as a designer?  Or an artist? What distinguishes you from everybody else? What is it that’s important to you?”  The answers to these questions are evident in the work on display in this year’s senior show.  A wonderful diversity in both medium and style makes 11 + 4 a very captivating display, as each piece is distinct.  It is clear from this exhibit that these seniors are all finding their artistic niche and have powerful work to take with them after graduation.

The public is cordially invited to visit the exhibit at their leisure until commencement this May. The work is currently on display in the Maybeck Gallery of Radford Art Studio at the bottom of the Chapel Green.