On the evening of April 29, several graduating seniors in SFUAD’s Photographic Arts Department will be putting on their senior show. Six seniors, to be precise, which is where the show takes its name and concept from. Simply entitled “Six,” the show will bring together the work of Ysidro Barela, Becca Buchleiter, Craig Duncan, Pamela Houser, Chealsea Garcia and Forrest Soper. While the wide range of styles in this show will present a varying array of concepts, the photographers believe their differing styles will sit well when placed side by side.
“It has been amazing and frustrating all at the same time,” Chelsea Garcia said in reference to her preparations for “Six.”
“I feel like, with my group of seniors in thesis, we not only get invested in our own projects but each others’ as well. I’m excited to be exhibiting work alongside my talented peers.”
All of the students involved in the show say they feel their work has changed in large part during their time at SFUAD, and that this is nicely reflected in the work that will be on display for “Six.” The spectrum of the show’s themes, ranging from the inability to achieve perfection portrayed in Craig Duncan’s photographs, or the human healing process as expressed through Ysidro Barela’s scans of bandages, are perhaps mirrored by the varying experiences that the students themselves have had while putting the show together.
Duncan said he hopes the show will be a jumping off point for him and that he feels support from the group of students who will share the spotlight.
“It’s so great because you’re with a bunch of your colleagues who are so close to your work that they see your work just as critically as you do,” Duncan said. “That’s important because being on your game is a priority in terms of responding to critiques and being able to come back loads better.”
Becca Buchleiter, on the other hand, said she feels that working so closely with her fellow graduating seniors has pushed her to show a side of herself that few have seen. Her series of photographs, entitled ‘Beneath the Colors’ portrays struggles with anxiety, depression, stress and body image issues. She said she hopes that those who see her work will consider the possibility that everyone around them is putting on a facade, while their emotional struggles boil beneath the surface, and that to engage with these themes she has had to reveal private aspects of her life.
“My professors and peers had no idea that I struggle with depression and anxiety and body issues,” Buchleiter said. “So, they have been learning that about me now through the images and through me talking about it.”
Ultimately, each member of the show said that they feel happy to share their thesis show with peers that have watched their work change and advance. Forrest Soper, whose thesis work deals with the way human beings augment their surroundings and what these environments they construct can tell us about the individuals themselves, said that he hopes the show will cause an emotional reaction for those who see it. He also stated that he believes there will be something in “Six” for everyone, due to the wide range of styles and themes.
“Putting together this thesis show has been the most stressful, painful, wonderful, beneficial and enlightening project I have ever worked on,” Soper said.
“Six” will on display at the Marion Center for Photographic Arts from 5-10 p.m., April 29.