Convergent Perspectives features the artwork of the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art spring 2020 graduates. The Capstone in Studio Art class of 2020 designed visual art projects that reflect their viewpoint of Statesboro based on traits such as history, economics, geography, fantasy, play, etc. The students employed their studio skills in combination with visual and historical research to represent aspects of the city of Statesboro and Bulloch county that they have encountered during their time at the university.
The exhibition features works from Elaine Ball, Rachel Borkowski, Matthew Boyd, Rachel Forehand, Shelby (Ashton) Gaines, Amina Horan, Jessica Johnson, Tracey Mitchell, Cailey Newman, Anna Raley, Isabel Reuter, Quentin Rivers, Darius Williams, and Megan Wright.
These digital illustrations are based on articles that I have found in Statesboro and Bulloch County newspapers written between 1900 and 1950. The content is arranged in a way that illustrates how I visualized the article headlines that I came across during my research. I am heavily influenced by traditional artists such as Salvador Dali, a Spanish surrealist artist, and Zdzisław Beksiński, a Polish painter specializing in dystopian surrealism. I also deeply admire the many artists who work on various games such as those developed by FromSoftware and artistically directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki. I enjoy incorporating many of the same surrealistic and imaginative qualities into my personal work which is why I often look to these artists for inspiration.
This large, amusing park bench by Rachel Borkowski was inspired by the life-sized bench downtown along the Blind Willie McTell trail. After some discovery downtown, the artist came across this collection of artistic benches alongside the trail. Upon doing research for this piece Borkowski came across the rich history of these works. The benches were created by Georgia Southern students as a way to connect the college to the community, and it did just that quite literally as the trail can be followed from downtown right into campus. It was easy to see the lack of care in these community pieces of art; they were not maintained the way they should have been. Borkowski took it upon herself to create a restoration project for her favorite of the benches. Her approach to the design and medium of the bench was heavily influenced by the work of Claes Oldenburg. Oldenburg is famous for his large works of installation art but what Borkowski drew influence from were his exaggerated everyday objects. To keep the idea of connecting the community, she has one of the seats jutting out from the wall to draw people into the piece. These were made in all sorts of media: vinyl, canvas, cardboard, paint, etc. His signature tongue-in-cheek style was an inspiration for her whimsical approach to this park bench. The piece is sewn out of felt and reinforced with cardboard.
My time spent at Georgia Southern as a minority student has caused me to view myself and peers of color differently when it applies to opportunity and inclusion; we are not equal. I wanted to showcase the change that has yet to come but is coming to Statesboro in terms of racial equality and fair representation. The subject of this piece is Francys Johnson; lawyer, politician, and activist. Johnson has been instrumental in the growth and representation of minority individuals in and around Statesboro. My experiences with Johnson and his continued efforts to involve the student body are additionally what motivated this composition. I aimed to highlight the injustice that people of color still experience here in Statesboro today, as well as showcase our undeniable regality.
I created a series of ceramic pieces titled “Nostalgic Journey of the Blues” that were inspired by Blind Willie McTell’s musical journey and how it relates to me as a musician and artist living in Statesboro, Ga. When researching information about Willie I read about the route he took from Statesboro to Atlanta to record his song “Statesboro Blues”. It inspired me to make a guitar case and road sign, to pay homage to just one of the many journeys he made as a musician. In Nostalgic Journey one, the ceramic box references the studio in which Willie recorded his song “Statesboro Blues” in 1927. In Nostalgic Journey two, surrounding these pieces in the center are abstract pieces illustrating aspects of a guitar. The visual aspects of this project were heavily influenced artistically by Pablo Picasso’s guitars and musically by Blind Willie McTell and the Allman Brothers Band when creating this work.
Shelby (Ashton) Gaines
This project is a digital 3D recreation of the art sculptures along the Blind Willie Mctell trail done by previous students of Georgia Southern Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art. While this does not include everything that class did, as many of the pieces have been removed over the years due to neglect, those that are still there have been recreated digitally for 3D printing so that people may see what they were like if they are ever removed.
In the drawings and paintings that I created for my capstone project, I tackle societal themes that people like myself deal with and are related to the “school to prison pipeline” such as inequality, displacement, and racial stereotype. The school to prison pipeline is a phenomenon where the government uses taxpayer-funded school programs such as Student Transition and Recovery Program (S.T.A.R), in-school suspension, alternative school, and even silent lunch to perpetuate the prison system. I grew up in Georgia and I have seen how our school systems perpetuate prison culture with these programs. On the surface, these programs seem to have a small impact but from what I have experienced, they negatively affected my classmates enrolled in them. These programs, rather than correct a situation, perpetuate problems of neglected African American youth such as increased high school dropout rates, low college enrollment/graduation rates, early pregnancies, increased drug use, and most of all, increased incarceration rates of young black teenagers. In Bulloch County, this is as much of a problem as it is anywhere in Georgia with violent crime rates that exceed those of the state and a high poverty rate for African Americans.
My artwork is pen and ink and mixed media and my character, Inkman, is inspired by my personal experiences and by artists such as Aaron Douglas, Kerry James Marshall, Jack Kirby, and Eiichiro Oda. I am especially inspired by Trenton Doyle Hancock who combines comic book themes with Black African American contemporary art.
These animatic videos, or moving storyboards, are comedic videos that utilize classic Disney film moments, but the settings are based on the historic side of Statesboro—City hall, and the Statesboro Historic Inn. Each location has its own story that has caused it to become an important landmark in Statesboro. Traveling over the years allowed me to learn that many parts of different towns, and cities, have a story to tell the coming generations. Over the years, I have been influenced by different animation and concept design artists such as Mitch Leeuwe, and Audrey’s @AudityDraws. They inspired me to continue my work in animation and storyboarding.
For my project, I created concept art for a cartoon based in downtown Statesboro. The concept art includes drawings of two characters and three small businesses (Three Tree Coffee Roaster, Big Boy Cookies, and Galactic Comics and Games). For my research, I visited each location and took pictures to reference later while making my art. My artistic influences are Charles M. Shultz who created the Peanuts comic strip, Bill Watterson who created the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, and Hayao Miyazaki who is an animator/director and co-founder of Studio Ghibli, which is a famous movie studio from Japan.
My project is a video about a local legend surrounding the meatpacking plant in Statesboro. I have taken photos and videos of the Packinghouse and edited them together to make an approximately three-minute video. My love for documentaries, video editing, and ghosts was able to come together for this project. Documentaries like Ghost Adventures, Beware of Slenderman, and I am a killer are the types of documentaries I like to watch or listen to. Throughout my research, I discovered the types of styles documentaries can have and the effect music has on the people watching it. Ken Burns is my biggest inspiration when it comes to creating a documentary. I try my best to incorporate as many styles of normal documentary effects as I can.
When deciding on what exactly I wanted to focus on for my Capstone project and after doing research, I decided I’d like to focus my attention on South Main Street. Specifically, I want to focus on two historical homes that are still standing today and are in use serving the community. The two homes are the John A. McDougald House, which is now known as The Beaver House Restaurant, and the William G. Raines House, which is now known as the Historic Statesboro Inn. These homes were built in the early 1900s. They have survived for over one hundred years and are still in use today in different ways. The Beaver House is located at 121 South Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, and the Historic Statesboro Inn is located at 106 South Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia. The Beaver House was submitted to the National Register of Historic Places in June of 1980 and the Historic Statesboro Inn is also recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, but there is no date listed.
I wanted to focus on these homes because many students in the past have focused on historic buildings located in Downtown Statesboro, but no one has focused on historic homes, especially homes that are still standing 100 years later. I will be creating a 22×30 watercolor piece that displays a large historic map as well as the two homes being discussed. It will contain exact addresses, coordinates, and a compass rose. I want this piece to look as if it was dated and “historic” by using neutral, darker colors for the background and lighter colors to highlight the homes.
These digital illustrations by Isabel Reuter are inspired from locations seen around Statesboro, reimagined with a fantastical edge. The images are meant to represent the artist’s feelings of dissociation while living in Statesboro, and give the viewer an idea of how her imagination takes flight when driving through town. Reuter is influenced by many current illustrators and graphic novel artists today, such as Tillie Walden, Fran Meneses, Jeff Smith, and Fiona Staples. Isabel is heavily inspired by fantasy and science fiction. She likes picturing the magical amongst the ordinary and tries to find ways to incorporate these themes in her concepts and projects.
For my Capstone project, I decided to combine different mediums to create a 3D visual representation of Statesboro flora and fauna life. I’ve always been drawn to the flowers that I pass by on campus every day, so when I was told to pull inspiration from Statesboro I knew instantly what direction I was going in. To me, the flora and fauna life of Statesboro was something beautiful that was overlooked by most on a daily basis. I feel that the students of Georgia Southern are the same as the flowers that are native to Bulloch County. Many of us are seasonal and all of us don’t last, but there is a sense of beauty in life’s challenge to grow here.
I want the plants and animals represented in my piece to not only be cool to look at but also be something someone who is from this area can say they recognize. I believe this project has an effect that will last beyond my years here because it can not only be enjoyed but shared and taught to others. The research alone for this assignment can be used in the next year(s) for those who find Statesboro’s nature interesting and want to explore more or just find flowers and birds cool.
Some of the plant life that native to this area surprisingly has names which suggest another origin like the Japanese Maple, which can be spotted by its bright red leaves. There are also birds native to the area which have become synonymous with larger cities such as the Cardinal which is associated with St. Louis. Statesboro to many is known for its native mascot, the bald eagle but there are plenty of other large birds that rule the local skyline such as the Red-Tailed Hawk and the common nighthawk.
Major Research website- https://www.inaturalist.org/
In the Fall of 2019, a guest speaker came to the school the talk to freshmen about diversity and being a minority in a predominantly white community. The student body was so averse to her message that they burned their books the same night. No disciplinary action was taken by the school; the president even defended their actions as free speech. I wanted to make a short video to bring attention back to this because I feel like this came and went without much incident. I’m not saying those responsible need to be hunted down to the ends of the Earth, but it almost like society is saying what they did was okay. I made this video using Toonboom harmony on my personal laptop. I made a storyboard and then slowly started to piece together the scenes to create this animation.
For this exhibition, I created a series of three oil paintings on canvas. Each painting is a landscape scene found in or near Statesboro, Georgia. Inspired by artists like Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet, I wanted to illustrate the overall feeling of the outdoors in this area. Being out in nature is such a rewarding experience and something we should never take for granted. During my time at Georgia Southern University, I have always enjoyed that vast farmland, unique swamp areas around campus, and some of the most beautiful sunsets. I feel that there is always an opportunity to admire and appreciate the small things in life and I find this to be very true when out in nature. I used firsthand experience when painting each of these while also adding an impressionistic style to my painting technique, using both natural and vibrant colors.
Last updated: 6/22/2020