May 10, 2021
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Huntingdon Art Students’ Work Shown in Senior Capstone Exhibit
Montgomery, Ala.— “This has been more than an extraordinary year, and we have heard that from all sides!” says Huntingdon College art professor Tara Sartorius. “Art-making has been no exception.” Sartorius has organized a Senior Capstone exhibit of the work of graduating art students Tamara Nanje and Alex Walker this week in Huntingdon’s Seay Twins Art Gallery. The work will be on view Monday, May 10, noon–6:00 p.m., and Tuesday–Friday, May 11–14, 10:00 am. to 6:00 p.m., with a special reception Friday, May 14, at 5:00 p.m., when the artists will discuss their work. Masks are required and viewers are limited to Huntingdon students, faculty, and staff.
Describing the work presented as “entirely spot-on for the socio-political issues that have come to the fore during our COVID year,” Sartorius says, “Tamara Nanje and Alex Walker present two points of view that seem, at first glance, completely different. Their aesthetic styles and imagery are nearly worlds apart, yet their artistic explorations and messages are closer than one might expect. Their combined message is that the world can be a better place, if only we can see and care for one another.”
Nanje’s exhibit, entitled “Narrative: Noir,” focuses on issues that have plagued African Americans for centuries, including stereotypes of image and the difficulty of seeing beneath surface appearances. “They are issues that have kept humanity on edge,” says Sartorius, “and kept people of different colors and cultures apart. Tamara, point-blank, calls attention to the problems stemming from assumptions and habits of thought and action, just as America is starting, again, to look up and wonder, ‘how will we ever untangle all these complex reactions and emotions?’”
Complex emotions are also at the heart of the work of Alex Walker in his show, “Stories of Life,” but Walker’s complex subject matter is disguised in simplicity, using digital art drawings in yard sign and Zine formats. “His work has an innocent, colorful look,” says Sartorius. “As we get close, his pieces make us wonder. His illustrated messages are sometimes in text: ‘Don’t be afraid to ask for help.’ Other times the images speak for themselves with humor and biting wit. They open our hearts because we, no matter what the color of our skin, have all been there before.”
Sartorius is enthusiastic about the quality of the work and about the message the artwork imparts. “Neither Tamara nor Alex suggests one perfect solution to the woes of the world. Rather, they point to the questions, the uncertainty, the angst, the fear, and the disillusionment felt by so many of today’s young adults. What life are they inheriting? What’s their next direction? What opportunities await? These two artists emphasize that we need to try harder to understand and get along with others, and especially with our very own selves,” says Sartorius.
Students, faculty, and staff may hear from the artists and ask them about their work, Friday, May 14, 5:00-5:45 p.m. at the Seay Twins Gallery on The Green. Indoor and outdoor distancing and masking protocols will be observed.
Huntingdon’s Department of Fine Arts offers a minor in art.