Essence of Inspiration

Essence of Inspiration

Essence of Inspiration: UNCP Thesis Exhibition

On View: March 21st – April 5th, 2019

Reception: Friday, March 22 4-6p.m.


The A.D. Gallery is pleased to present the student thesis exhibition titled Essence of Inspiration.  Featured students include undergraduate students Stirling Mckelvie, Sherry Young, John Kaiser, Margaret Sawyer and Abdus-Sabuur Baaree Saleem.

This work represents the individual experiences, and emotions that inspired these students in their own art. The array of themes presented in the student’s pieces involve contemplations about oneself, an introspective look on people’s hearts, the beauty of nature, and creatures that exist in it.  Mediums such as acrylic paint, watercolor, clay, and pencil, as well as digital software were used in the many works shown in the gallery.



Stirling McKelvie:

My work explores self-preservation, self-reflection, and self-healing.  Self-preservation is the protection of oneself from physical and psychological harm. Everyone has their own way of coping with life adjustment issues and events and everyone has their own particular method of self-preservation.  This idea derives from personal experiences in the past and what I continue to experience today and how I keep myself mentally and emotionally sound. In order for me to emphasize the idea of the self, I created self-portraits. The poses in my pieces reflect the idea of self-preservation.  For example, in some works I am depicted cradling or embracing myself. The goal for my work is to capture an audience and evoke thought and for people to also practice self-reflection.


Sherry Young:

My work always begins with an inspiration fueled and driven by “whatsoever things are beautiful.” My current pieces explore and discover DAY 5, creation of the oceans and the host of life within. When making my clay sculptures, I search for a stimulus in form, texture, color and feel. The clay itself laments through the process until at last, its inherent attributes are revealed. For my multi-piece works, I have considered the Gestalt principles of the “unified whole” where one will see the whole before we see the individual parts. I collect together design elements in a visual presentation, each work prepared for an exchange of ideas of curiosity and contemplation. The process of each new idea inspires and spurs me onward with the creative urge that fills my artistic soul.


Abdus-Sabuur Baaree Saleem:

We all have a heart; a hollow, pump-like organ of blood circulation, composed mainly of rhythmically contractile smooth muscle, located in the chest between the lungs. But this organ carries something a little more potent—the soul. What are we doing daily that fuels the soul that powers the heart? What are we doing daily that hurts the soul which breaks the heart? As a result, what happens to the physical body that holds it? Combining a Modernistic format with Digital manipulation, I designed the destructive aftermath of contemporary hearts that could’ve been the result of our everyday choices.


John Kaiser:

I choose to do my portrait work in watercolors because of the inherent lack of control I have over the paint. It allows me to really capture the unpredictable nature of the birds that make an appearance in much of my work. With four birds of my own, I have a great fascination with their beautiful color variations and different personalities. Every bird as I have learned, has a unique personality that I try to observe, understand, and eventually portray in my paintings. The watercolor paints flow and mix in these little unpredictable ways which perfectly personify the dubious nature of birds. 


Margaret Sawyer:

When it comes to the senses, I believe touch is the most memorable. Also, touch is one of the avenues in which we explore the world around us. Starting from this point of view, is how I produced my work. The spotlight of all my pieces is texture, and the types of texture that can be seen in nature. Often times I work with my hands rather than brushes and palette knifes, in order to feel the many layers being built. This process takes me back to my own experiences with nature and how I felt being surrounded by that type of environment. My hope is that viewers are taken back to their own experiences regarding nature and become absorbed in their memories though touch.