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At attention

Savannah State’s seniors present thesis exhibition

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SAVANNAH is full of artistic talent, and not just downtown.

Up now at Savannah State University, “It’s Come To My Attention” is a group thesis show of the visual and arts program’s graduating seniors. The artists explore themes of reflection, both inwards and outwards.

The five artist’s works are vastly different from each other, but the theme of reflection runs through the exhibition.

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Margie Watson’s work is inspired by personal events.

“This body of work represents my family and our relationships,” she says. “Throughout my short life, I’ve experienced, within my family, trauma, mental illness, alcohol abuse, and abandonment. I’m attempting to recreate them on canvas for others to see.”

One theme through Watson’s body of work is a facial scar that appears in many of her self-portraits.

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“By revealing these experiences, I find that these images are not only unique to me, but to others,” says Watson. “These portraits will create opportunities for open dialogue for people to unite around, seek answers and provide solutions to problems that plague so many people within families, communities and the country.”

In her work, Kayla Jefferson addresses slut-shaming.

“Slut-shaming is an act of criticizing people, more so women and girls, who are perceived to violate an expectation of behavior and an appearance regarding issues relating to sexuality,” Jefferson explains.

Jefferson created prints of butterflies that resemble vaginas to represent the letting go of sexual limitations.

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Sharonna Ray is inspired by paintings of desserts.

“I’m exploring the emotional connection humans have to their desserts through a self-reflective journey of forgoing sweets in order to become refined much like gold does,” Ray explains. “I am trying to find the essence of emotional intelligence. My use of acrylic paint with mixed media depicts the abstract textures of desserts in a metallic gold color scheme.”

Ray’s paintings are lush and surprisingly realistic. Parts of her paintings include what looks like chocolate smashed directly onto the canvas, creating an interesting illusion.

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Maiya Ellick’s photographs feature black mothers breastfeeding their babies, an inspiration she found after becoming a mother herself.

“My images aim to promote, destigmatize, and normalize black breastfeeding,” she explains. “I documented real life, candid images of mom and baby in their everyday environments, hoping to show that black women breastfeed their babies and to show its normality.”

Vashti Williams’ work tackles the lack of diversity in the cosplay community.

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“My work addresses the lack of representation of cosplayers of color by illustrating self-portraits accompanied by other people of color as mainstream animated characters that are cosplay favorites,” says Williams. “The characters I have chosen to illustrate as minorities in print are generally more acceptable if cosplayed by non-ethnic players.”

Each artist perfectly executed their own thesis statement in the work, making for a smart, cohesive exhibition.

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