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Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery



Through July 8, 2020
Artists' Reception: To Be Announced (Post-COVID-19)

Clear Water

"Reduce, reuse, recycle" is a term we are all familiar with and have heard all our lives. Recycling is critical as waste has a substantial impact on the natural environment, but especially the ocean. Recent studies show that up to 40-50% of landfills are composed of paper waste and plastic bags. Americans use an estimated 380 billion single plastic bags per year, and there are as many as one trillion used annually across the globe. Many of these plastic bags end up in the ocean.

As a native of Miami, FL, I have seen firsthand how much pollution has affected not only our oceans but the animals that live in it. Reducing the use of plastic, coupled with recycling, can help reverse the effects of ocean pollution tremendously. The other thing that would help is to advocate to keep our coastlines free and clear of litter. For this reason, I have created a PSA to inform beachgoers about the harmful impact plastic has on the sea. Graphic design is a powerful tool to get the attention of the general public but even more potent for the residents who live by the coast. As someone raised near the ocean, I feel it's my responsibility to advocate for a cleaner environment.

Advocating Visually

The topic for my senior art show will discuss endangered animals and the human consumerism of those animals causing their endangerment. Seeing as there are hundreds of species of animals being hunted for a plethora of reasons, I narrowed my results down to ten species: Bengal tiger, eastern massasauga rattlesnake, Barbay lion, butterfly splitfin, Guam Kingfisher, Wyoming toad, Kurdistan newt, thick-billed parrot, Miyako grass lizard, and the African leopard. These animals endangered for their own different reasons with one shared reason being loss of habitat due to human infiltration.

My show will display this consumerism of endangered animals through ceramic “China plates.” Eight of the animals will be displayed on earthenware ceramic plates separated onto four shelves (two plates per shelf) while the rattlesnake and Bengal tiger will be on a pedestal between the shelves, with two shelves on each side holding the plates. The choice of describing them as “China plates” is to play off the human idea of purchasing expensive plates and never using them, only owning them for display purposes. While they are plates — common household items used daily—they are untouched and meant to look nice; the same goes for these wild animals. My goal for this show is to influence people to take a step back from environments that they do not belong to and leave the indigenous species currently existing there alone, or donate and help wherever they can to prevent further habitat destruction and animal losses.

Colors of Autism

Each portrait displays a particular color or color range; words that pertain to emotion I feel with that particular color, and facial expressions based on these emotions.

I chose to create this series because as a person with autism, I have realized that certain colors affect me differently. However, I did not realize, until I started doing research, that this phenomenon also affects other people with autism.

Death of Innocence

My work focuses on childhood trauma and how it impacts adult life. As children, many of us make meaning out of the events we witness and the things that happen to us, and we create a new meaning of how the world works, which helps us cope. However, the coping mechanism used in childhood may not function during adulthood. Thus, we suppress these feelings and relive the psychological effects of trauma, depression, and abuse.

Childhood trauma follows you into adulthood, and many people sweep it under the rug until something triggers a memory and forces them to relive the experience. In contrast, others cannot forget their trauma and face it every day.

An influence for my work is the illustrations of children's books by Clement Hurd, most widely known for the book, Good Night Moon. Each painting in “Death of Innocence” leaves clues for the viewer. Clues that help a viewer reflect on the innocence of childhood and the trauma of losing it. The "unsophisticated" style in each painting is deliberate as a visual cue of innocence, while the explicit poems offer contrast. The conflict between the two creates tension. The tension found between the two conflicting messages is a reflection found in many things that seem reasonable, but have sinister origins.

Art helps us tell a story, and “Death of Innocence” was created to help me reflect on the topics of abuse, depression, and trauma. My hope is this series helps others confront their trauma and to believe in themselves to face what happened when they lost their innocence rather than letting past trauma define who they are today.

They Walked So We Could Run

Women are powerful! So much, that I have dedicated my senior thesis to the women who have empowered my life. The process of making artwork, specifically printmaking, allows artists and audience moments of reflection. Each mark made is created by carving into a surface, and each singular mark defines a path to represent likeness. Printmaking has several steps that consist of carving, rolling paint, and printing/ pressing out the art. I believe the process of printmaking is akin to how individuals define our paths. Because of this, I chose to highlight women who have carved a path throughout time and allowed me to dream.

Each woman highlighted is an influential role model in my life and a symbol of strength and perseverance in a broader historical context, both personal and historical. I chose women that have helped raised me, from icons of sports, entertainment, politics, and, most importantly, my mother and grandmother. The tradition of portraiture reflects likeness, and, in that regard, I have captured the likeness of each woman.

My intent is two-fold, to represent likeness and show the process of walking in their path — by literally walking with the soles of the shoes printing out the portraits of each woman. Additionally, I added cut-out designs to symbolize unity in the paper. These prints represent the path these women have carved throughout history and gave me hope to one day make a similar path.


The Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery is located on the lower level of Plough Memorial Library in the center of campus on the Buckman Quadrangle, easily accessible from the Central Avenue parking lot and the East Parkway entrance. All exhibits are free and open to the public.