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Exhibition shows diversity of student work

While most seniors who graduate with distinction spend their senior year toiling over massive research theses, two art majors graduating with honors have culminated their four years of learning with a very different kind of project. "Honors Exhibition: Students with Distinction in Art," currently on display in the Bivins Gallery, features furniture designs by Trinity senior Fred Stiber and figure drawings by Trinity senior Karen Burch.

The "Honors Exhibition" represents the first time in several years that art majors have completed honors projects. Like other majors, to graduate with distinction, art students must meet a GPA requirement and complete an independent project during their last semester.

While these two students did not work together on their individual projects, Burch said that her figure drawings and Stiber's furniture designs have a lot in common in that both of their works are "both linear and very figural."

The gallery contains Stiber's creative furniture pieces surrounded by Burch's figure drawings on the walls. The display of the two distinct types of art in the same room shows the spectrum of talent in the department. Burch's more traditional studies of the female body contrast with the modern, corporate-like designs of Stiber's furniture.

Burch's portion of the exhibit incorporates sketches, monoprints (a form of printmaking from paint on Plexiglas) and drawings into a collection which portrays female nudes and other figure studies in a realistic manner. While she usually works in paint, Burch also branched out into drawings for this exhibit.

Burch also experimented with new subject matter. She said that the pieces she did for this exhibit are "by far the most intensive work I've been doing with figures in the past couple of years." The majority of the women Burch depicts are faceless and neither fat nor thin, giving a universal and timeless feeling of beauty to the figures. Her pieces show the female body in an unidealized light, focusing on position and movement.

All of her works are in black and white, emphasizing Burch's dexterity at using the play of light and dark to convey the contours of the human figure. One series of charcoal drawings shows nude figures of both women and men, presenting a contrast between the bodies of the two sexes. Burch's pieces are carefully maneuvered yet not overly detailed. The viewer is thus able to add personal imagination to the artist's conception.

"Sonya," two series of pieces, differs from the other black-and-white works in the gallery. "Sonya" shows a girl, the only clothed figure in the exhibit, at work at a desk and later reading. This series was drawn onto small squares of paper bags and focuses on various parts of the girl while she studies. Again, the pieces contain enough detail for the viewer to get a sense of what the artist is portraying, yet Burch does not bombard the piece with every precise line.

In a quite different genre, Fred Stiber's furniture designs bring a very up-to-date feel to the exhibit. Stiber's creations are a combination of original miniature models and life-size works. The miniature pieces are scaled-down versions of stools, tables, and chairs.

Stiber's furniture appears durable yet artistic. While all of the pieces serve a function as pieces of furniture that could be placed in a home or office, they could just as easily function as abstract-art sculptures. Stiber says that he sees his

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