Graduating fine arts students showcase their work

Work by Kathleen Lochhead and Whitney Drschiwiski explored

As the winter semester comes to a close, the six graduating students of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program are putting the finishing touches on their final projects. After going through several critiques, their work will be exhibited on April 22 at 7 p.m. in TRU’s art gallery.

Whitney Drschsiwiski poses with Sinbad, a bull from her farm that passed away.

Whitney Drschsiwiski poses with Sinbad, a bull from her farm that passed away. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

Whitney Drschiwiski

Drschiwiski ’s final project features the assembled skeleton of a small bull that had to be put down on her family farm in the Fort St. John area.

“Most of my work has been about animals. With this one I’m sending a message to animal rights groups because as farmers we get grouped in with factory and commercial farming, when family farms and community farms are not the same thing. It’s similar in that we raise animals, but we differ in how we raise them. For example, this guy’s name was Sinbad,” Drschiwiski said.

Drschiwiski painstakingly assembled Sinbad together again in a falling position. Assembling the bones in this position was a challenge, as well as figuring out the best glues to use.

The process of readying the bones for sculpture purposes was a long one, starting this time last year.

“He died in March, skinned him in May, and through May, June, July and August I started defleshing him. When he got here he spent quite a few months degreasing and a month in peroxide,” she said.

Although Drschiwiski is comfortable with physical act of turning Sinbad into an art project, it is another thing to deal with the death of an animal from her family’s farm.

“It’s been a bit of an emotional thing,” she said.

After she finishes her degree, she hopes to build her own art studio and make her own silk screen press on the family farm.

“When I showed up I only basically did drawing and painting and so I learned quite a bit while I was here. I learned about silk screening and etching and sculpture, and that is where a lot of my work has turned to,” Drschiwiski said.

athleen Lochhead is in the process of creating two more large geometric paintings like this one, both to be part of her final project show. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

Kathleen Lochhead is in the process of creating two more large geometric paintings like this one, both to be part of her final project show. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

Kathleen Lochhead

Lochhead’s portion of the exhibit will include three large neon abstracts and several smaller silk screens.

“My final project incorporates neon fluorescent colours and contrasts them against desaturated colours to give you visual impact,” Lochhead said.

Although she predominantly works in printmaking, Lochhead decided to do more painting so she could blow her work up onto a bigger scale.

“My larger paintings that I’m doing are sort of a continuation of previous abstracts I’ve done in the past, but they’re more complete and well thought-out and planned. I’ve done lots of research into them and that really helped expand the broader scope of them. I’m also doing prints that are more small and intimate and I guess kind of like the drawings I’ve done in the past,” Lochhead said.

Although Lochhead has done an extensive amount of research and tests, she says one of the biggest things she’s learned in the program is not to do so.

“Sometimes it’s okay to not plan a lot. If you have an idea you might as well go for it, and there’s so many opportunities for critique in the Fine Arts department. Just do it. If it wasn’t the greatest thing you’ve ever made in your life, that’s okay, you can make more things,” Lochhead said.

Lochhead grew up in a very artistic family, and having been homeschooled, she was able to go to galleries and take in art unrestricted by a school schedule.

After graduation Lochhead plans to stay in town, “apply for shows, get some grants and make more art,” she said.

“The dream used to be to teach art. Maybe one day I’ll do that, but over the past five years at TRU I’ve got more of my hands on the physical aspects of art. Getting dirty and covered in paint and it’s gross and slimy, that’s what I’m really into right now. Practicing art and showing and exhibiting is more the goal right now,” Lochhead said.