The artwork of spring Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) graduating seniors at Southeast Missouri State University will be displayed virtually in the “SEMO Q Gallery” thanks to the efforts of a Southeast faculty member.
The site, http://www.semoqgallery.com, will feature images of the most recent artwork of Southeast graduating BFA students who choose to participate. The site launches May 1. Each student’s work will be featured for one week, with the virtual exhibition to run through July.
Bradley Phillips, associate professor of commercial multimedia, created the “SEMO Q Gallery” – short for SEMO Quarantine – to give these graduating seniors a forum for others to virtually admire their artwork during a time when the River Campus Art Gallery remains closed.
Graduating seniors in the Department of Art and Design were scheduled to have displayed their work in the 2020 Graduating Seniors Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibitions April 20-May 15 in the River Campus Art Gallery. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those exhibitions have been canceled.
“I built the site in response to the reality in which current BFA students will be unable to realize their BFA thesis exhibit. Our gallery committee and all our BFA faculty have been regularly discussing how we can give our students the opportunity they would have had before the closure” of University facilities due to COVID-19,” Phillips said. “These students work incredibly hard on a unique body of work which typically gets to be displayed in a gallery on campus. A BFA thesis exhibition is a celebration of their accomplishment, an opportunity to show off their abilities and an avenue to express their artistic passions.
“I felt it would be something I could easily do that would be somewhat of an opportunity during these difficult times,” he continued. “While the students may not get the full experience of a proper gallery exhibition, it is my hope the SEMO Q Gallery website will offer them a new platform in which to commemorate their hard-earned degree.”
The normally four week-long exhibits are an opportunity for senior-level students to display individual artworks from their chosen field of study. The SEMO Q Gallery extends that opportunity in a new format.
“The end results are a dynamic mix of mediums and content,” said Justin Miller, associate professor and exhibitions coordinator. “This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduating art and design students in a new way.”
Works featured in the “SEMO Q Gallery” are in ceramics, digital art, graphic design, illustration, painting, printmaking and sculpture, representing the broad expanse of Southeast’s art programs and the creativity of its students.