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Undergraduate student doing research

School of Art
Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research

Summer & Fall 2023

Avery Bonnette and Yashua Batista-Milk Engage with the Ogallala Commons

Avery Bonnette, undergraduate student in Studio Art, and Yashua Batista-Milk, undergraduate student in Graphic Design, joined Carol Flueckiger, associate professor of Art, at the Art, Environment, & Sustainability Art Exhibition at the Lubbock Garden & Arts Center, Saturday, September 9, 2023. Bonnette and Batista-Milk are School of Art's inaugrual summer interns with the Ogallala Commons based in Nazareth, Texas.The Garden & Arts exhibition served as a Harvesting Ceremony for the first internship launch between Ogallala Commons and TTU School of Art. Bonnette presented a quilt and Batista-Milk crafted a series of postcards for the exhibition which runs through September. 

Ogallala interns
LEFT: Yashua Batista-Milk with display of cards. RIGHT: Avery Bonnette presenting her quilt.

This internship with Ogallala Commons developed out of Carol FLuekiger's course Art, Environment, Sustainability. After seeing Flueckiger present her course at a conference, Ogallala Commons, a 501(c)3 nonprofit education and leadership organization that reinvigorates the Ogallala Aquifer commonwealth to build vibrant Great Plains communities, invited Flueckiger to organize an artist internship with the organization. The High Plains-Ogallala Aquifer extends west into the Rocky Mountains region, and east to the river-braided prairies. The Ogallala Aquifer is a groundwater commonwealth that unifies all human and natural communities living in a region spread over more than 176,000 square miles, in eight different Great Plains states. 

Conducted in June during Summer I, the internship involved site trips throughout the South Plains gaining awareness of the ecosystems, playa lakes, and Ogallala Aquifer. Field study began in Nazarath, and ventured into Silverton, Quitique, Turkey, and included a site visit to The Tap  in Shallowwater. Their internships were supported with fellowships from the School of Art. The students simultaneously enrolled in Independent Study class hours with Associate Professor Carol Flueckiger. Outcomes for the internship included attending an overnight orientation, making two self-guided field trips in the Panhandle, making work about the experience, installing artwork in an exhibition, and delivering an artist's talk. 

Ogallala Commons Internships
LEFT: Yashua Batista-Milk refreshing himself at "The Tap" in Shallowater. RIGHT: Avery Bonnette walking the labyrinth at  Casa La Entereza in Nazarath.

Flueckiger's Art Environment, Sustainability summer field courses are included in a recemt Southwest Contemporary article titled "Intervention and Interconnection: How Should Artists Work With(in) Environment?" by Natalie Hegert.

[updated 13 September 2023]

Christopher Liu Receives Top Jewelry/Metals Scholarship

Chris LiuAt an awards event held in Rhode Island in late July Chris Liu, a Studio Art senior from Allen, Texas concentrating in Jewelry Design & Metalsmithing, received the top scholarship awarded by the MJSA (Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America) Education Foundation. The scholarship is awarded to a U.S. student enrolled in a jewelry program based on assessments of the applicant's academics, career plans, recommendations, and industry experience. Clear articulation of his career plans helped him secure the scholarship.

His current research objectives regarding conceptual development include combining attributes of sculpture, installation, and jewelry in order to obtain or create a sense of presence by thw works. Read more from MJSA's press release here.

[28 August 2023]

Holden Sutton Selected into Rosenzweig Juried Exhibition

Holden Sutton, a senior in Art Education of Allen, Texas, has been selected for inclusion in the 2023 Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition, an exhibition showcasing artists in the mid-South (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas). The Public Awards Reception is to be on July 20th. The exhibition will be on view in ASC's William H. Kennedy Jr. Gallery through Saturday, Oct. 14th. 

Sutton is among 35 artists selected from 594 submissions by 315 artists that were received by the exhibition organizers, The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (ASC). Dr. Rachel Trusty, a visiting assistant professor of women's and gender studies at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, served as juror of the exhibition. “I was incredibly impressed by the quality and breadth of all the work,” Trusty said. “Choosing only 35 pieces from over 500 entries was difficult, and I want to celebrate everyone who entered. When selecting pieces for the show, I had two main criteria. First, that the work demonstrated excellence in technique, and second, that the work was innovative and pushed what we consider to be ‘art' forward through media, theme, or both.”

Sutton's selected painting is titled Head in the Ceiling Fan, an oil on canvas, 66 by 44 inches, 2023. His primary medium is painting, with an interest in utilizing site specificity and materiality to express identity. “My work is often centered around identity by exploring the self, the construct of masculinity/gender and the practice of vulnerability,” Sutton said.

Sutton is in his final semester of completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art Education and plans to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting following graduation. 

Holden Sutton - Juried 37th Exhibit

He had three artworks selected into the Texas Tech 37th Annual Juried Undergraduate Art Exhibition in 2023, winning third place overall. This year, he also showcased work at The First Friday Art Trail in Lubbock; was accepted into the Texas Association of Schools of Art (TASA) Artovation Student Exhibition, a statewide art competition open to college students; and the Texas Tech School of Art Group Exhibition for Advanced Painting.

Follow Holden on Instagram at instagram.com/holdensutton.

Information about Holden Sutton courtesy of The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas.

[30 June 2023]

Brianna Strange Has Artwork Selected into National Exhibition

Brianna StrangeBrianna Strange, undergraduate Studio Art BFA student in the Jewelry Design & Metalsmithing area, had one of her artworks selected into the Society of North American Goldsmiths' Annual Juried Student Exhibition this summer. SNAG showcases the diversity of students who are the future of the metalsmithing and jewelry field. Jurors for the exhibition were Sulo Bee and Rachel Saul Rearick. The entire exhibition is available for online viewing through August 15th.

Brianna will also have her work displayed in a two-person exhibition (with Nathan Swain) in July in the School of Art Satellite Gallery.

[22 June 2023]

Graphic Design Students Win in District 10 and National Design Competitions

Graphic Design undergraduate students Danielle Waters and Shaofen Xue won top awards in the District 10 American Advertising Federation Awards (AAF) Competition during the spring semester. District 10 included entries by undergraduate students from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. 

Danielle Waters, who graduated in May, went on to win a top award at the National AAF Awards in the category of Publication Design.

[22 June 2023]