KOKOMO, Ind. – Cat Bolinger grew up in a military family, and has spent most of her life traveling.
As a student at Indiana University Kokomo, she’s continued her traveling by studying abroad to places like Italy, France, Colombia and then to England this May.
Her lifetime full of traveling inspires her artwork created for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)Thesis Exhibition. She is using techniques and skills in printmaking, mixed media, and repurposing found objects that reflect her love for exploration and travel.
“I hope people will be able to look at my body of work and think about how their lives have been impacted by different experiences, because my experiences traveling continuously impact my life and my art,” said Bolinger, a senior fine arts major from Kokomo.
The exhibit opens with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, in IU Kokomo’s Art Gallery. The show continues through May 16, and is free and open to the public.
The B.F.A. Thesis Exhibition is a culminating event for fine arts majors, allowing each one to create a body of art to showcase all they’ve learned and accomplished in their classes. Bolinger is one of four seniors featured in the show.
Minda Douglas, associate professor of fine arts, has been working with these four students since August, and is excited about the diversity of the exhibition as each student is incorporating a variety of mediums into their art.
“Thesis exhibitions are exciting to visit because it is a view into the students’ personal artistic directions,” Douglas said. “The BFA degree does not require our students to focus on a specific medium of art, so these students have been able to consider their conceptual focus first and work in a variety of ways to express those ideas.”
Lori Brubaker, Flora, is looking forward to having her work in the show and seeing everyone’s finished products.
“Not many people see what we’ve accomplished as fine arts students, and this is a really great opportunity to show the campus what we’ve learned,” she said. “We’ve all worked so hard to make this show the best it can be.”
Brubaker’s art involves photography, sculpture, and printmaking to showcase and interpret light, reflections, and shadows. She creates sculptures that reference forms of objects found in her photos, and then photographs the different shadows cast by the objects and turns them into prints.
Bolinger and Brubaker both currently work in the IU Kokomo Art Gallery and hope to continue this type of work in their future careers. They are also considering graduate school.
“Having work featured in a show like this is incredible. This is what we will use to get into graduate school or secure a job,” Bolinger said.
“I’ve really gotten to experience the best of both worlds by curating shows in the gallery and creating pieces for shows,” Brubaker said. “I really hope to work in a larger art gallery and create art on the side.”
Abby Workman, Kokomo; and Abby White, Kokomo, will also have their work displayed. Workman’s art is a digital installation of images that focus on the theme of loss and loneliness, and White’s exhibit is based on the concept of memory loss, but she uses a variety of materials in her art, including metalsmithing, sculpture, and printmaking.
Tara Scott, events coordinator and art gallery director at IU Kokomo, is thrilled to see the completed exhibit and see all the pieces created by the students.
“This exhibit will showcase what four years of learning and hard work really looks like,” Scott said. “Art students learn so many different skills and techniques and find ways to make it their own, and that’s what will be presented in their art.”
The gallery’s hours are: Sundays and Fridays, closed; Mondays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, noon – 4 p.m.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.