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“After Nine” senior online art exhibition

WSSU students express who they are as developing artists through their senior projects. Selections range from photography, painting, watercolor chalk, and even hand-crafted furniture making.

Seniors in the Art + Visual Studies department have poured their passions into this year’s exhibition. Although the art isn’t hanging in the renowned Diggs Gallery due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19, that hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm that surrounds this much-awaited showcase. The online gallery allows art lovers to get a personal look into the creative minds of nine phenomenal student artists.

Under the instruction of Prof. Scott Betz, a 2020 UNC Board of Governors Teaching Award winner, students were tasked with finding a project that spoke to who they are as a developing artist. Many of the students drew from personal life experiences to create their collections and used a variety of media. Selections range from photography, painting, watercolor chalk, and even hand-crafted furniture making.

“This year has presented an unprecedented opportunity for artists. Our seniors have worked incredibly hard, and so as faculty, we’re working even harder to make sure they get their much-deserved accolades. We’re finding new and innovative ways to showcase our student’s art. Moving their collections online has allowed us to reach audiences we ordinarily wouldn’t,” said Betz.

As a comparison, last year’s opening reception at Digg’s Gallery yielded 75-120 visitors, this year’s combined collections have already seen more than 1000 visitors.

The in-person showcase experience allows students to get immediate feedback from visitors. So, visitors to the online gallery are encouraged to browse the art of each student and to ask questions and leave feedback. These interactions are significant to the development of young artists.

Students are remaining positive and embracing the online experience. “There’s so much focus on what we can’t do these days, that we wanted to focus on what we can do. As seniors, sharing our art with friends, family, and other art enthusiasts was most important to us. The online gallery lets us do that,” said Simone Pommells, a senior art student. “We’re so appreciative that Prof. Betz and all our instructors are working to make sure we don’t miss any of our senior experience.”

Pommells was also chosen for the artist spotlight in the Winston-Salem Journal’s Relish publication, which features arts and entertainment news. Click here to view.

Click here to view the “After Nine” senior art exhibition.

WSSU senior Simone Pommells painted four portraits using oil paint and one drawing in charcoal addressing identity, communication and expression.

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