Senior Art Show

Senior Art Show

The Weizenblatt Gallery hosts exhibitions of work in a variety of styles and mediums by artists of local and national prominence. Because of the campus closure this spring, the senior art show has moved online.

Below you’ll find artwork and artist statements from:

  • Emiley Burris
  • Shae Condon
  • Natalie DeBruhl
  • Randolph Fair
  • Aubree Hill
  • Sarah Ingalls
  • Rachel Vierheller
  • Claire Witt





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(828) 273-6476
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Artist Statement – Emiley Burriss

My intentions are to combine well known artists or art pieces with athletic brands, creating a graphic image that could either be seen as a work of art or as an advertisement for the sports brand. I want the athletes, as well as artists, to be able to look at my work and relate to it in a way that may be different to each and every person. My work is hand drawn digitally on an iPad as a way to create a graphic element within the art. Each individual drawing represents a specific campaign that each brand has launched which is shown within the artistic style of an artist that has a similar “campaign” or intention behind their work. The artists correspond to the brands they are matched with as a way to represent each message, for example, the brand Nike is paired with the artist Kehinde Wiley. Where Nike has run multiple campaigns highlighting African American athletes and their successes, Kehinde Wiley is a well-known African American artist who portrays mostly African American people ranging from teenagers he meets in the streets, to other artists, and even former President Barack Obama in a way that is empowering and uplifting. My goal is to find commonalities between sports and art and illustrate that relationship in a way that anyone could understand and enjoy.

Artist Statement – Shae Condon

Graphic design is not a one-way street, it’s more like an intersection on a busy road with stop lights that have been out of order for far too long. I don’t always know when I am done with a design or what direction I am going in, but in the end it clicks and it works and I make it passed that intersection and I finally reach my destination in one piece.

As a graphic designer, I believe it is important to go above and beyond the expectations and to Thrive through creative thinking and process while incorporating my own artistic style. I strive to put a bit of myself in any design I create. Creating a brand from the bottom up is tedious work, graphic design in itself is tedious work. The most simplistic logo takes days to weeks to develop, and perfect in order to be successful, putting that bit of myself in the work I produce allows me to hit new heights and test new measures. There is a preconceived mindset out there that views graphic design as just a box with certain parameters and “rules” that must be followed in order to produce what is acceptable for a client or for an assigned project. In reality, there are no rules in the creative world. If there were, I would just break them.

Artist Statement – Natalie DeBruhl

Click the image to view the animation.

I am presenting the process from rough character concept to final design to animation. Through showing this process I hope to garner a new appreciation of animation from the general public, who generally do not know what goes into the creation of the cartoons and shows they watch. I treat this project as a starting conception of a cartoon show that I am trying to get greenlite.

My work follows the creation of two of my characters Aonani (aka Nani) and Mano. They are a sister and brother duo that live in an alternate history version of California where small feats of power are common, but powers that are “dangerous” never happen. Mano and Nani are two of the many that would be deemed dangerous; their parents killed due to them being mistaken for having the powers. The plot follows Mano and his struggles to protect his sister from a world that would use and abuse her for her abilities and plans to destroy the system that murdered their parents and puts his last remaining family at risk. Through the story the malleability of the siblings power becomes more apparent and gives way to more creative uses of them. Themes of family, growing up, morality, and oppression would be woven into the storyline.

I have always been fascinated by animation since I was a child and that only grew as I have learned more about the subject. My goal in life has been to become an animator since I was in middle school and my determination to live out that aspiration has pushed me to learn and grow as an artist. My passion for character creation and bringing those said characters to life has kept me motivated and excited for more. Some of my inspirations have been the animated series Castevania, Fullmetal Alchemist, Teen Titans, and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Some of the illustrators I have been influenced by are Elentori, Jen Bartel, and Mars (aka Marsoid).

Artist Statement – Randolph Fair

Randolph Fair is a Mars Hill student from Lincolnton, NC. He has known he wanted to be an artist since he was in 8th grade. In his art, he seeks to capture the African American experience from his perspective growing up. Art for Randolph is about freedom and experimentation. His work involves a few mediums such as graphics, photography, and drawing. All of his art is used to express his life and he is influenced by Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems and other artists. Through offering these experiences, he hopes to find others who relate to the messages in the pieces. He hopes the viewers of his work can connect to them in some way.

Fair is studying Art, with a concentration in Graphic Design. With his degree he plans on pursuing a career in graphic design. One day he would like to start his own business.

Artist Statement – Aubree Hill

Aubree Hill’s passion for art began at a young age. She got her start at the age of nine when she won her first award in an art contest for a painting. From there, her passion for drawing and painting blossomed. Her love for digital art developed as she got older. During the summers, she spent her time searching for internships with other artists. She has interned with Lovely & Light Photography and The Light Factory. She has experience with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Today, she resides in North Carolina, where she is currently attending Mars Hill University, hoping to earn her degree in art with a concentration in graphic design.

Artist Statement – Sarah Ingalls

My work is an exploration of the duality of absence and presence. Taking my biggest source of inspiration from the loss of 3 of my grandparents in the last 2 years, my goal is to explore what is and isn’t present in the wake of absence in a generalized and open view of loss. When something is lost, there is always residual evidence of what once was, whether it be memories, feelings, or physical objects which hold individual meaning. The main components of my body of work are personal photographs – however, the techniques and concepts I employ leave the viewer an opportunity to interpret the pieces in relation to their own experiences of absence.

Inspired by both historic and modern artists, I am combining the touch of traditional art mediums with a modern photoshop application. By removing my work from the confines of one medium, I am able to express the same idea in different ways. In addition to manipulating, removing, or relocating the figure itself within the photographs, I am using multiple physical mediums and methods to alter the photograph further. Using these techniques, I am able to hide the identity of the subject to allow the viewer to react to each piece through the lens of their own memories and experiences.

I was drawn to the combination of traditional and modern media in my pieces because of the powerful effect of merging two worlds – traditional and digital art – into one. This combination allows me to preserve the unique feelings of meaning and emotion hidden in an old photograph while also being able to manipulate each image to make it a universal symbol of my idea.

Artist Statement – Rachel Vierheller

I live with bipolar disorder and its effect on my life has a large influence on my work. My work is an extension of my consciousness. I live my life in constant cycles of highs and lows–depression and mania. Even at times when it is well managed it is still there. The patterns I create are a visual representation of these cycles. The infinite highs and lows of my mind are extended onto the surface of my work. Through the forms I use, I explore the rigid, exact nature of the expectations of life–how people are “supposed” to think and act. These forms give me a restricted surface to paint my own thoughts upon. When these are placed on the rigid, exact forms of my work, they create the same dichotomy of thought that I experience in my life.

The physical making of my work creates an outlet for my mind and body, a repetitive, meditative process that provides a focus for my body and soul. Just as yoga provides a physical and mental outlet, creating my work stretches my mind and my body to new limits. I hope that the experience of my work creates a similar feeling for the viewer and user; the physical touch and visual experience of the work combining to create a connection between artist and viewer.

Artist Statement – Claire Witt

Sitting and staring at a computer screen, waiting for an idea to appear. This is where I often find myself after being assigned a project. Although classmates could point me in the right direction, I’m determined to come up with an original idea that will blow away the competition, and I’m determined to come up with it on my own. Yet I still sit with a blank screen.

Suddenly thoughts and paper collide, the unorganized sketches come pouring out. I use my graphic design and visual arts skills, adjusting lines, colors, and type to create my art. I turn the assignment in, listen to my critique, and get assigned the next project. The process has restarted and I’m staring at a blank screen again.

Yet this is what I’m passionate about. I find a thrill when working on assignments that push me. Not all assignments go my way, some are utter failures. But as a graphic designer, as an artist, you must be able to accept your failure and learn from it. I recently landed an internship with an up and coming company and was immediately humbled. I knew I would be somewhat out of my element, yet I did not anticipate feeling like I knew nothing. However instead of trying to fake it, I embraced the role of student and let myself absorb everything. I didn’t let my pride get the better of me, and it helped me become a better designer.

Graduate school is the next step. I feel the undergraduate program has taught me many things. If I am to be successful and competitive within my field, I must keep learning. I’m ready to take the next step, even if that means I may have to stare at a blank computer screen a couple more times.