Change Happens Right Before Our Eyes: Spotlight on Three CAVA Seniors

10 Feb

Photo of Eve Wiseman's artwork by Eve Wiseman

By Gavin Grenda

Despite this year’s challenges, CAVA seniors have pushed through and made some very unique and exciting work. Three CAVA seniors, Jude Miulencak, Eve Wiseman, and Adeline Gouda, shared their thoughts on how virtual learning has affected them this year, showed and explained their various work, and gave some insight into their senior projects.

Jude Mikulencak’s tailoring work stands out as very unique. Jude used to be a painter, but, influenced by his friends taking a fashion class, Jude made his first sweater and has been making clothes since.

“First, I have to find some fabric that I like,” Jude said. “Once I have the fabric, I come up with a design. Most of the time I’ll come up with a few sketches and figure out what I like.Then I turn the drawing into a sewing pattern. In order to draft the pattern, I usually have to take measurements to make sure it fits right. Once I have the patterns drawn and cut out, I use them to cut out their shapes in the fabric. Then I pretty much just sew it all together over the course of a few days.”

When asked about how COVID has affected his art and experience in CAVA, Jude explained that he has much more time to work on his art. “Last year when I was in school I only had one block a day to sew, so I rarely got anything done. Now I have pretty much all day to work, so I’ve been able to fly through my goals.” On the down side, Jude says that senior shows will be watered down because of COVID. Jude originally planned on a runway show for his senior project showing off 10 outfits, but he says, “With COVID, I don’t think that will happen. I still have all of the garments complete, but my guess is there will be just some sort of online slideshow.”

Eve Wiseman’s Dadaist-inspired art aims to blur the lines between “meme” and “art.” Eve explains how she does this in her art, “I have two acrylic paintings of memey digital collages I’ve made, both of which use awful garish colors and jpeg artifacts and comic sans [font] and that kind of ugliness. It’s just endlessly entertaining to me to use technical skill to create things that generally aren’t taken seriously. A 3’ x 4’ painting of an awful meme usually makes the viewer question why they aren’t taking memes seriously as art in the first place.”

When asked how COVID and virtual/hybrid learning have affected CAVA this year, Eve explains, “In a normal year, the majority of our work would be in the classroom and we’d have all of Sirman’s supplies at our disposal.  It didn’t make sense to work on big physical projects in class during hybrid because we were only at school 2 days a week. The best I could do was just bring my drawing tablet to class, which has definitely incentivized my current focus on digital media.” Eve prefers the digital work saying, “As of right now, I definitely prefer digital because it suits my own tastes better, but there are definitely advantages to traditional media.  I just feel like if you’re going to use a computer to make art, you may as well push the limits of the medium and make it uniquely digital, which I do by exploiting image compression and other ‘flaws.’ Digital art shouldn’t just mimic traditional art.”

Asked about her plans for her senior project, Eve explains, “Assuming we’ll be able to safely use the gallery room, I’d like to suspend four projectors from the ceiling, displaying my digital work on the walls. I also want to have my own, real laptop displayed on a pedestal in the center of the room, probably with something else I’ve made playing on the screen. It’s getting kind of old, and I expect to get a new computer soon, so I’m thinking about partly destroying the screen and seeing how that affects its display-- I’m fairly sure I can get a cool effect with that. And I’ll also have speakers playing really loud, grating, clipping noise. I want to make the room difficult to stay in--I love when things are oversaturated.”

Adeline Gouda describes her work as on the more realistic side, “All my paintings and graphite drawings work to get a realistic and intricate translation of what I see. I want my work to look classy, finished, and skillful, as well as creative and up for interpretation.”

Photo of Adeline Gouda's work by Adeline Gouda

When asked about how COVID has impacted  her experience in CAVA this year, Adeline says, “The transition to virtual learning has been a challenge for everyone, and being a part of such a familial class makes it even harder. Spending time with my classmates in art class was a highlight of my highschool experience because of how it led me to meet some of my favorite people. It's really heartbreaking to be unable to see everyone’s art in person.  We all have our fingers crossed that we will still be able to host our senior shows.” Adeline adds, “Mr. Sirman has been an incredible teacher through this all, making sure to be aware of our             needs and to support us in any way he can.”  Despite  this year’s circumstances, Adeline says that “the art produced by our class has been the most impressive, conceptual, and meaningful yet.”

Adeline plans on including many works of different types from this year in her senior project and to center it around a theme. She explains, “For my senior project I have a bunch of works to show, including oil paintings, acrylic paintings, screen prints, collages and graphite drawings. I have yet to come to a unified meaning for my work, but I know that I want to reference a theme of change. 2020 changed all of us and, moving forward, we will always remember this time. I want my work to reflect the past and show how change happens right before our eyes.”

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