“Transcending Perceptions” group exhibit showcases diversity

The second of four Armstrong senior exhibitions, “Transcending Perceptions,” debuted at Ashmore Gallery on Mar. 21.

Bridget Beasley, Michelle Churchill, Dawn DeFrank, Shannon Hurlebaus, and Tramel Ortiz displayed their artwork that spanned a variety of mediums and themes.

To earn their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Armstrong, seniors must host a gallery exhibition that showcases their artistic ability. However, the pieces brought to the show didn’t give off a “required class project” vibe. Rather, they all felt fresh and very innovative.

The reception opened to a large crowd that included Armstrong faculty and fellow students, as well as supportive family members. After speaking individually with the guests, each artist addressed the crowd and spoke about their artwork.

“Self Portrait” by Shannon Hurlebaus, 8×10, 2013

Hurlebaus displayed a series of black and white photos that reimagined classic pieces of artwork, from Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci to Nighthawks by Edward Hopper. Hurlebaus’ Mona Lisa rendering featured a woman with a sleeve tattoo in front of an industrial background. The artist spoke about her love of photography, ceramics, and art history, and how those interests were all represented in her collection.

Beasley brought an Alice in Wonderland-themed collection with a variety of pieces, from cloth mushroom stools to photographs of modernized characters from the fairy tale. She mentioned that art “takes a lot of courage and imagination, much like Alice [had],” explaining her choice of theme.


Raku Horsehair by Dawn Defrank


DeFrank focused on ceramics and brought a variety of different pottery styles, some of which she learned outside of class. Some of her most unique pieces were horsehair pottery, which involves putting a hair from a horse in the pot. The hair leaves a trail of carbon that turns into black wavy lines on the ceramic, creating an interesting pattern.

Churchill, a portrait photographer, brought black and white photos of young children. Sticking to her theme of fairy tales, each child had a costume made especially for them, like Peter Pan or a fairy. She mentioned that she liked photographing children because they feel free to be themselves during the shoots.


Tramel Ortiz


Following a theme of pop culture and biology, Ortiz brought a series of watercolor paintings with small pieces of glass placed over them for emphasis. Several of the paintings depicted a cutaway of a human torso, and Ortiz explained that the paintings were meant to represent Adam and Eve.

This senior show was impressive for both its variety of mediums represented and its close adherence to themes. Each artist’s pieces were cohesive and made sense presented together. Their hard work surely paid off; it was a beautiful show.

There were no standout pieces, but only because they were strong together. The consistency of the artwork made each artist’s collection strong and bound the exhibit together in creativity.

Transcending Perceptions is a must-see show and will remain at Ashmore Gallery until March 28. The receptions for the remaining two Armstrong senior exhibitions will take place April 4 and April 18, both at Ashmore Gallery.

Rachael Flora

Author: Rachael Flora

Rachael is a recent Armstrong grad and works as the Events editor at Connect Savannah. She's an Ohio native and likes being somewhere a bit warmer. In her spare time, she likes to read classic novels, perfect her photography, and watch Netflix in bed.

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