"Full Circle" Moment for UNT Studio Art Seniors

There was a full circle moment last Thursday at the College of Visual Arts and Design (CVAD) building at the University of North Texas. That is because of the UNT Department of Studio Art hosted a Full Circle Exhibition displaying artwork from Studio Art seniors.

This was the department’s inaugural Full Circle event to showcase “excellent outcomes” from undergraduate programs and will continue every fall and spring semesters, said Lauren Lake, Department of Studio Art chairperson and professor.

Full Circle means a series of developments that lead back to the original source, position, or situation, Lake said.

“The goal being to invite the university and regional community to learn more about what we do, see our facilities, recruit and celebrate the excellence students,” Lake said.

The event featured works of installation, painting, fibers, printmaking and much more. Not only physical art pieces plastered on the gallery walls but also live pop-up performances, one being a parade of necklace statements.

“Full Circle is not a gallery,” she said. “Rather, it is an umbrella event in which covers exhibitions and events which will only happen during the opening and some exhibitions that will be up for one-to-two weeks.”

There was not one set theme, but a conundrum of themes including Texas Fashion, paletas –– the Spanish word for policies –– and motherhood.

Fibers major Marti Renteria said her artwork displayed at the Full Circle event was about her identity and how she views herself as an artist.

Renteria incorporated paletas, something she knows from her culture and has grown up eating, into her work and used the message of people accepting food from different cultures but not the people who make up that culture.

“Like so this whole thing with immigration issues and all of that,” she said. “I’m kind of exploring that in my work with paletas because that’s something everyone notices, everyone knows about it, everyone eats them...It’s something fun but yet I’m still talking about a serious issue.”

This school year is also the final year students can have a degree concentration in fibers at UNT. In August 2018 CVAD Dean Greg Watts announced in a memo to the CVAD community the fibers program was “discontinuing.”

Renteria said this event was going to give herself and fellow fiber artist more exposure.

“...We’re going to be able to continue the conversation of what is happening with fibers,” the senior said. “Why is it, and a whole bunch of things, because they’re [UNT] shutting down our program.”

Fashion design student Lupe Gomez attended the event to support his former teacher Alyssa Russell. Her display was titled “Onescenity.”

“I find her work very creative and very tedious because I’m a fashion design major and seeing her sew all of that is incredible,” Gomez said.

After viewing the exhibition, he said UNT discontinuing the fibers concentration is a “major loss.”

Header image courtesy of Unsplash.

Header design by Kylie Phillips.