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Published: April 24, 2012

One Last Statement for Art Students Before Graduation

When Candace Pryor ’12 realized that her other classes seemed to get in the way of her being in the studio making pottery, she changed her major to ceramics.

“Five years ago I would have laughed if someone told me I'd be where I am now, about to graduate from such a great program,” said Pryor, who said going back to college as a non-traditional student was a challenge at first.

Now she joins about three dozen others in the last statement of their academic careers, the BFA Exit Show, to be held April 25 to May 4 at the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery on campus. The public is welcome to a reception honoring the students on Friday, May 4, from 7-9 p.m.

Pryor will be exhibiting pottery and found objects in mixed media mini-installations, each with a theme related to a life event or time.

“My hope is that visitors, especially other students, will see that life changes all the time,” she said. “You just have to embrace it and make the most of whatever life throws at you.”

The graduating seniors will display pieces in their area of expertise which encompass an array of media, including sculpture, computer graphics, animation and painting.

“The art department has always given me the freedom to establish my creative direction,” said Chelsea Michelson ’12. “I remember the first time I completed an art piece that was beyond what I ever thought I was capable of and from then on I was hooked; the process was no longer work, it was invigorating.”

One of the pieces Jeremy Bell ’12 will be exhibiting is a charcoal and acrylic painting of Florida Governor Rick Scott. It is one of a collection of works that include bought pieces, commissioned works and “works I created from the heart,” said Bell.

“The pieces I have in this show really portray my journey as an artist,” said Bell, who was invited to host his first solo exhibit in Seattle this February. “My time at The University of Tampa has helped me grow and mature in more ways than one.”

Bell said his professors taught him how to make a living out of his love of painting by giving him a realistic and practical business sense. He said the junior and senior seminars were crucial elements in preparing him to stand on his own two feet as a practicing artist.

The gallery is located at the R.K. Bailey Art Studios, 310 North Boulevard, and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. There is no charge for admission.