By Matt Riedl, news editor
The three graduating seniors from Newman University’s Art Department will present “Elementals,” an art show, from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in the DeMattias hallway gallery.
The event will coincide with the Final Friday art gallery crawl, occurring simultaneously with the Steckline Gallery reception.
The sights will be accompanied by the sounds of a jazz combo and the smells of light hors d’oeuvres.
The show’s theme highlights the varied art styles of the three seniors: Sonny Laracuente, Jessie Huffman and Jessica Fleming.
“It’s a fire and ice concept,” Laracuente said. “We all come from pretty different perspectives. Each one of the students has their own emphasis.”
Laracuente, who specializes in graphic design, printmaking and stencil work, said he is most influenced by urban art.
“I’m inspired by street art and poster art, with vaguely political and social commentary,” Laracuente said.
He said he deals with tough situations in life by injecting a lighthearted touch in his artwork.
“I tend to be aware and curious about whatever issues are going on, and I put a little bit of ironic humor in it to soften it,” Laracuente said.
For Huffman, the ocean is her muse.She said her fascination with nautical art started with an interest in tattoo art.
“I have always been drawn to things that are odd and unrealistic,” Huffman said. “I didn’t realize I had that attraction until I looked back and saw that all my pieces were pretty much the same thing.”
Huffman has been drawing since she was young. As she progressed through college, she developed an interest ingraphic design and printmaking as well.
“I started falling in love with color,” Huffman said. “I usually take a more whimsical approach to projects.”
With her photography, Huffman said she likes to convey a message through the way objects are presented.
“Photography can convey a message in many different ways, whether it be through your props, your background or the subject itself,” Huffman said.
Huffman will have paintings, photographs, prints and graphic design work at the showcase.
Finally, Fleming’s style is a mix of all the above.
Self-described as “non-representational abstract,” her works draw from nature and borrow from other art pieces to create a unique style, she said.
Her large pieces are sprinkled with glass chunks and mirrors throughout.
“It makes you feel like you are a part of the art,” Fleming said.
She said she draws inspiration from classic abstract artists.
Much of her work focuses on nature.
“I try for an organic feel,” Fleming said. “They have a natural feel to them.”
Some of the pieces on display in the show will be available for purchase.