2024 Studio Art Senior Exhibition header graphic

2024 Studio Art Senior Exhibition

February 26 – March 22, 2024

This is the capstone experience for Studio Art Majors. Each Senior Student has chosen an area of emphasis. They work with a media or process that they feel best visually communicates their ideas and interests as an artist. Each artist has built a unified body of work to represent their strengths and creative vision, and they have all worked collaboratively in curating, designing, and hanging this exhibition.


February 26, 2024 – March 22, 2024
Reception: Friday, March 22, 5 pm–8 pm

Department of art

Develop your artistic talent and build analytical thinking and technical skills that prepare you for career opportunities in education, advertising, arts management, design and more.

 Nicole Ballachino HeadshotSARAH CASTRIGANO

The theme of my senior exhibition, “Telling the Bees,” references the practice in which beekeepers have a responsibility to notify the bees of major life changes such as deaths, births, and rites of passage as an aspect of their care. I explore through metaphor the hive as a nest, tomb, shrine, medicine chest, portal, container, and oracle. The themes of motherhood, marriage, and grief are presented visually through various mediums, including drawings, prints, hand-built ceramics, and fiber arts like stitching and weaving, each presenting layered visual metaphors.

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I utilize present, personal, ancient, and universal sources while overlapping mediums, borrowing textures, and incorporating found objects. My experiences in beekeeping and background in herbalism and horticultural studies profoundly influence my work. I look for ways to visually communicate the depth and beauty inherent in nature, emphasizing the sacred, historical, and essential relationships shared between human beings and the natural world that have been forgotten or lost in the pursuit of modernity. The hive and the ancient practice of beekeeping serve as ideal symbols, bridging past and present, representing healing, the necessity of relationship, interconnectedness, and transcendence.



My sculptural Ceramics illustrate stylized and whimsical forms that express ominous dark topics such as death and the afterlife. My forms can be expressed as an allusion but have a playfulness, much like Tim Burton’s clay animation in Corpse Bride. This film influenced my work in how it represents death. Death has always been a topic individuals have feared for centuries, but I have found it intriguing. Ever since I was little, I was obsessed with the concepts of the strange and unusual. Understanding death and the phenomenon of what happens next is a fascination and curiosity I always wanted to learn, even more so after my near-death experience in the summer of 2022. As other individuals around me feared the unknown, I always believed death does not have to be feared but be described as a beautiful transformation into the natural world.

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When creating my work, I research symbols that represent different ideas. I research diverse cultures, including my own, finding value in symbols such as evil eyes, butterflies, skulls, and tree-like textures. Evil eyes are symbols in the Latino community relating to the protection against negative energy or emotion. Skulls can represent the Day of the Dead, which is the remembrance and celebration of loved ones who have died in the Mexican culture. Butterflies represent the Vietnamese culture. They believe butterflies are the passing and resurrection of loved ones, and trees are used within my work to represent life, which can be imbued with a spirit or force. Within these ideas, I sculpturally constructed unusual relationships where life and death collide and was influenced by Memento Mori, which is Latin for remembering death, a concept that was established to help master one’s fear of death and nurture the soul for the hereafter. By doing so, I use saturated colors to create lively scenes while having desaturated colors represent life before death.

Carissa Ferguson  HeadshotJESSICA STEVENSON

Under the lens of religion and mythology, I reference familiar figures in the narrative stories on promiscuity and womanhood. This multimedia collection is the culmination of a millennium of evolution, not just in women but in expression. Using oil and acrylic paints, graphite, and ceramics, I merge past and future into one body of work. This all funneled under the emphasis of fruit and how they are at the epicenter of these stories of old Eve and her forbidden fruit, Persephone and her pomegranate, Idunn and her golden apples. 

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 In this project, I found myself inspired by romantic style paintings and the early-mid 20th-century illustrative works in which I wanted to represent cross-generational struggle. Promiscuous fruit is, in essence, about confronting conceptions about women’s bodies, sexuality, promiscuity, and faith. We tap into that window of time in which a girl becomes “grown” when we get drunk for the first time, or perhaps a forlorn sadness about missing girlhood. In the clouds, a near-constant motif in my work, there is something I can only describe as freedom and acceptance, and in the color red, which corresponds with sensuality. I am particularly drawn to this subject matter because it is an outlet in which I have come to rectify and explore the ideologies and fixations of my youth.

 The physical paintings are all painted directly onto 4×4 and 4×3 wooden panels, which are painted so that the grain of the wood is still visible. My digital pieces have all been done in Procreate and Photoshop.  

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Photography of the event will be used to promote the University and your attendance provides permission to use your likeness in promotional material.

95 East Bagley Road
Berea, Ohio 44017
(440) 826-2152
[email protected]

MONDAY:           2:00pm - 5:00pm
TUESDAY:           2:00pm - 5:00pm
WEDNESDAY:     2:00pm - 5:00pm
THURSDAY:        2:00pm - 5:00pm
FRIDAY:               2:00pm - 5:00pm
SUNDAY:             CLOSED

BY APPOINTMENT (440) 826-2152