VSU Senior Art Exhibition Opens Sunday, Boasts a Few Surprises

April 12, 2012

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Senior Art Exhibition Opens Sunday, Boasts a Few Surprises


VALDOSTA -- Just like everyday life, Valdosta State University’s 2012 Spring Senior Art Exhibition is full of surprises.

Senior William Massey’s mixed media piece “Essentially (For What It’s Worth)” is sure to make art enthusiasts across South Georgia and North Florida say “wow.” A tribute to his father, the piece features welded iron, blown glass, acrylic, a bicycle wheel, a shoe, a book, a Steely Dan record album cover, a paintbrush, and so much more. He said that the items remind him of various experiences he has enjoyed with all of his fathers --00 the one who raised him and the ones who nurtured him as a student and artist at VSU.

Pointing to the various objects used in the artwork, Massey said, “My father taught me how to ride a bike. He taught me how to drive a car. This is our favorite band. He taught me how to change a tire. He taught me how to read a book and to walk.”

Massey’s piece also contains a secret that will only be revealed when the VSU Fine Arts Gallery hosts the 2012 Spring Senior Art Exhibition weekdays beginning April 16 and ending April 30. An opening reception will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 15. The VSU Jazz Combo will perform.

“Everyone has displayed their strongest work in this show,” said Massey, the son of Bill and Bridget Massey of Atlanta and exhibition spokesperson. “There is a lot of substance in this show.”

As a group of his fellow students worked in the Fine Arts Gallery to hang a very large piece of art on the wall, Massey pointed out a few experimental pieces in the exhibit and discussed how the various works featured will appeal to visitors technically and emotionally. He also talked about how the entire show, from installation to publicity and everything in between, has been handled by the students.

“The purpose of this exhibition is to showcase the entirety of our careers at VSU,” he said, adding that students studying art at VSU take classes in drawing, photography, sculpture, graphic design, printmaking, ceramics, and so on. “That’s hard to do. We get about eight to nine feet of wall space per person.”

When asked how he selected the artwork for his exhibit, Massey said it came down to what was most thought-provoking, what would make the most impact, and what would best show the knowledge and skills he has gained at VSU. Some of his fellow students have multiple pieces in the exhibition. He has one, a very large one standing about eight feet tall and four feet deep and wide.

All of the students in the show are art majors at VSU graduating in May with either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Massey, who pursued the latter, plans to move to Italy where he was able to secure a special work-study program.

“I want to learn more,” he said. “I want to live life, absorb knowledge, get out of my comfort zone, and experience new things.”

Massey will have a one-man exhibition at Hildegards, 101 E. Central Ave., downtown Valdosta, during Art After Dark. The opening reception will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, April 20.

The VSU Fine Arts Gallery is located on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, which is located on the corner of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.

To learn more, please contact Julie Bowland, gallery director, at (229) 333-5835 or jabowlan@valdosta.edu.

On the Web: www.valdosta.edu/art/gallery and WilliamMasseyArt.com