Photography Students Present Exhibition Entitled “Raw”

May 10, 2013

By Crystal Vining ‘13

Senior photography majors in the Department of Art showcased their work in the exhibition titled Raw at Backspace Collective on Main Street in Peoria, IL. The photography majors are students of Assistant Professor Margaret LeJeune.  From the Stateside DREAMing series to Ignite, the student’s work covers a variety of concepts from social identity to cultural differences.

LeJeune worked with students at the beginning of the semester to find a topic that they were passionate about and believed they could flesh out over the course of fifteen weeks. The exhibition imagery is a culmination of a semester worth of work on that particular concept. 

“This exhibition gives students a chance to show the skills and techniques they have learned during the time they were part of the art department at Bradley This includes conceptual growth to as well as concepts involving color, light and texture,” LeJeune said.

Many of the students started with one idea that eventually evolved into completely separate pieces of work. Senior Studio Art major Maralee Syers’ project changed dramatically from her original idea. She chose to focus on how the media affects women’s’ body image.

“The media portrays generally one specific body type for women,” Syers explained. “Many women who cannot attain the perfect body image turn to dieting or suffer from anxiety.”

Syers work is suspended from the ceiling. This allows visitors to view the work from different perspectives.

Senior Studio Art major Jessica Stefano chose to focus on the Illinois countryside. Stefano photographed forgotten barns and farmlands. Her work was presented in a quilt titled “Devil’s Puzzle” and in a large wooden frame titled “Barn Star”.

“We tend to throw things away when they are broken or damaged yet we leave these forgotten barns,” said Stefano. “I believe they are left there because they are part of the American culture and dream.”

The students would like to thank LeJeune for believing in their work and always pushing them a step further. Her passion and genuine caring personality made it easier for the students to create strong, conceptual works. 

Raw will be exhibited showing at Backspace Collective, 606 Main Street Wednesday, May 8th and Friday, May 10th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Additionally, there will be showings on Saturday, May 11th from 12:00pm to 4:00pm and lastly Thursday, May 16TH from 12:00pm to 2:00pm.