Senior art shows: the stress and satisfaction

Yuto Sesekura stares at the large fabric sculpture on the floor of the library gallery.

The artist is in the middle of setting up his senior show.

Holding his chin, Sesekura is deep in thought over how he wants the sculpture he made in the spring of 2020 to be presented in his show.

He paces back and forth, past the lineup of colorfully painted canvas leaned up against the wall, and through the sofas that have been pushed throughout the room.

Sesekura is an international student from Japan.

The young artist is known for pushing boundaries and making the viewer question their perception of the concepts he creates art about.

The installation of Sesekura’s show began on a sunny Sunday afternoon. But while transferring his most recent sculpture, it broke into multiple pieces leaving the artist stressed.

The sculpture is called “The Future of Gender” and it looks as if a blanket is covering someone or something hunched over

Its deep burgundy red color and leather-like texture give it a raw, human-like look.

After the sculpture became multiple small ones, Sesekura picked up his phone and called his friend, Mason Svayg.

Svayg is a junior at Castleton and met Sesekura at his first house party, and ever since they have been close friends.

When Svayg answered the phone, Sesekura simply said, “I need help.”

“I could tell he needed my help, by the sound of his voice. Yuto is generally a very shy guy and becomes even more shy when he needs help,” Svayg said.

Once the two got together, they quickly began putting canvases on the wall, hanging wire across the ceiling, and troubleshooting any problems that arose along the way.

Sesekura is not the only senior who felt the pressure when it came to the senior show.

Lily Crowley, who had her show two weeks ago, said that the setup was the most challenging part of their senior show experience.

“To find the optimum appeal, I had to modify my set-up at least three times,” Crowley said.

Despite her worries about her show being too “empty,” she noticed that students did take the cards she left out about her show.

Jasper Lynch, who just had his show before Sesekura, said his mom made the setting-up process so smooth. But, the stress set in right after all the pieces were hanging on the wall waiting for the reception to begin.

“I remember sitting in the library gallery waiting for people to show up. I was super scared because it was a last-minute thing,” he said.

Even though senior shows create a lot of stress on the student artists, they leave their professors feeling intrigued when their student’s work is on display.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be able to work with student-artists over time and to be able to share in their discoveries and the development of their work,” said art professor Phil Whitman.

Whitman said that the best part of these senior shows is looking at their body of work as a whole with the student artist.

“One of the great joys for us as instructors is to have conversations with each senior in the midst of their installed body of work in the gallery on campus and talk about what comes next for them. It’s always a bittersweet moment where I think of all the time we’ve spent together, but I’m excited to see what these artists will do in the future,” he said.

When entering the gallery, you will see four years of Sesekura’s work when you walk into the library gallery.

What was once a room with paintings on the floor, a broken sculpture, and a floor covered in bean bag filler is now a beautifully curated display.

As your eye travels through the room, you will notice the variety of work, the time put in, and the attention to detail and how it is arranged.

Despite Sesekura not particularly liking all of his work, he said he is still excited for the people who know him to see his artwork.

Even though the setup of his show was stressful, he found that the most exciting part was his friends coming together to help him “come up with creative solutions to some tricky installations.”

Sesekura will be graduating from Castleton in just a few weeks and said he feels similar to how he feels about his show – nervous and excited.

“I’m excited because I don’t have to do boring mind numbing homework to get a good grade but work to move forward. Four years passed like an arrow. I have had both great and bad memories but I appreciate them all,” he said.

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