By Elizabeth Keys
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Living in Stillwater all her life, Cassandra Pickens has always wanted to be an artist. Her dream has become a public reality with her artwork featured in an exhibit at the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art Gardiner Gallery. Pickens' work is showcased with two other OSU Department of Art students, Kelli Coughenour and Vanessa Pettit, all candidates for bachelor of fine arts degrees in May. The trio will speak at a gallery talk after a public reception at 5 p.m. Thursday in Gardiner Gallery.
The Senior Studio Capstone Exhibition will showcase a wide range of media — sculpture, watercolor and oil paintings.
Using graphite as her primary medium, Pickens paints figures to explore the relationships people have with various others in lives. For Pickens, the human body is unique, expressive, powerful and a dynamic vessel for exploration and visual reflection. Identity is a major theme of her work.
“I plan on attending graduate school and pursuing a career in art therapy along with producing art work,” Pickens said.
Coughenour is a sculpture artist. For her recent body of work, she created cage-like sculptures that represent different personal experiences. She abstracted the cage to physically and theoretically represent her reaction to life events. The repetitive circle shape in her work was developed through researching patterns and microscopic images of cellular structures.
“Steel is my favorite medium to work with because of the many ways it can be manipulated with welding, bending and cutting on the CNC plasma cutter,” Coughenour said. “The options are endless.”
Pettit has been working with a wide range of materials — oil, acrylic, ceramic, digital and photography. She blends her art in many expressive styles including realism and abstraction. In this exhibition, Pettit presents a body of oil paintings and objects concerning water. Recalling her childhood memories of falling into water, she employs different colors and textures that tell the story of her emotional journey.
The Senior Studio Capstone Exhibition will continue through March 15. The Gardiner Gallery is located on the first floor of the OSU Bartlett Center for the Visual Arts. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. All exhibitions and programs are offered free of charge to the community. For information, call 405-744-4143 or visit: museum.okstate.edu.