Summer Scholars Exhibition 2021
Students who participate in summer research learn new techniques, deepen their skills, and build their portfolios, but that’s not all. Through probing conversations with their professors, they uncover personal motivations, explore intersections with environments, and even discover new career pathways.
Guided by faculty mentors, four students worked over ten weeks to discover, reflect, and create. An exhibition of their work is taking place at Bryant Arts Center September 10-27.
Enjoy the artists’ statements behind their work and experience below.
Aileen Schretzmayer ‘23, Studio Art Major
“My summer research has been a visual reflection of my moments and how exterior disruptions can evolve to create a new moment in relation to me; either domestic interior spaces and then how I am reflected into that work created and how I am reflected into the urban environments and when combined together forms a new narrative. My sensitivity in urban spaces has changed by forming new perspectives, by capturing different views/ideas/contemplation that then reflects with who I am in that space/moment in time.
I worked with Professor ReStack biweekly, on a photo project that then culminated in a book. I also printed images large to be hung up and shown in the gallery — my hope is for new narratives when images when paired together.”
Ellie Schrader ‘23, Studio Art Major
“My work, Colorful Gal, is a multidisciplinary project combining the practice of Studio Art and study of Anthropology to explore the ways in which aesthetics communicate self-identity and culture. Focusing on urban youth fashion subcultures in Tokyo, I sought to understand how subcultures form, the balance between individuality and community in fashion, and in what ways visual aesthetics can be utilized as a tool for cross-cultural communication. As a Western artist, my approach to this project is from the perspective of a learning student, incorporating previous and ongoing research into the Japanese language, culture, and history while remaining conscious and critical of existing in a non-white space.”
Nadeem Jones ‘22, Studio Art Major
“My faculty mentor was Keith Spencer. We were throwing around some ideas here and there, none of which we were that interested in until finally Keith asked me what type of doctor I wanted to be when I graduated from medical school. I told him I wanted to be a craniofacial reconstructive surgeon and he immediately started thinking of ideas pertaining to portraiture. This conversation ultimately led me to what my final project has become.
I learned many things about my artform this summer. Primarily, I found that I love to work on a large scale. When I was struggling to figure out what my paintings were going to look like, I started doing some preliminary sketches on the large butcher paper instead of my small sketchbook. With this, I discovered that I could truly free my thoughts and ideas as I worked with these huge drawings.”
Faith Sutton ‘22, Studio Art Major
“My Summer Scholar faculty advisor was Ron Abram. It is thanks to him that I got back into art in the first place. I’m glad I did not have to continue to suppress my creative side as I have been doing throughout most of my college career. I believe that thanks to Ron and the Summer Scholars program as a whole, I will be continuing the pursuit of an art career I was planning to do way back when I was a middle schooler. I will create educational comics for children that combine both my Psychology and Black Studies degrees. And I will soon be selling my art as stickers, posters, and t-shirts, which is extremely exciting for me.
I hope future students will use this program to rekindle a fire that sparks joy within them like I did. There is so much opportunity for personal growth and development, especially if you get an advisor as supportive and motivating as mine.”
Summer Scholars Program
Denison’s flagship Summer Scholars program gives students in all disciplines a unique venue in which to experiment with ideas and artistic expression, pursue an intellectual passion, and/or focus intently on the resolution of a question over a sustained period of time, free from the pressures of grades and credit.
Endowed funds support approximately 120 students pursuing full-time independent research or collaborative work under the close supervision of a faculty member for up to 10 weeks during the summer.
Qualified rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors propose independent or collaborative projects in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, fine arts, or interdisciplinary fields. Projects do not need to be in a student’s major. All Summer Scholars receive a stipend and a housing allowance plus supplemental funds for research expenses. Off-Campus Summer Scholars also receive travel funding.