During a regular stroll of the HFAC you might notice several art exhibitions up in the galleries throughout the building. These galleries rotate with exhibitions from students and faculty during the year. In conjunction with Night at the HFAC, many art students were featured in these galleries. Each student has a unique vision and story behind the artwork they create. Whether or not you have the chance to see their galleries in person, we have outlined several of their stories below.

Jesse Draper

Senior, Illustration

Jesse Draper


Title of Show: RIP “A coming of death story”

Inspiration: “I love coming of age stories and I thought it would be fun to depict a teenage angel of death growing up in purgatory. RIP is a story I’ve been working on for several years now. The idea came about during a conversation with a friend, it sort of wrote itself. It’s changed a lot. The core of the store is mostly the same, but now RIP is in her late teens, and the stakes are higher.  Recently, I decided to give RIP a more realistic style, and I’m glad I did. I love this project because it’s given me a chance to reimagine and paint some of my favorite monsters.”

Anna Killian

Senior, Photography

Title of Show: “Her”

Inspiration: “It revolves around Heavenly Mother. A lot of my work has revolved around women’s topics and for about a semester I was a women’s studies minor. In the past I’ve created a series about modernizing Biblical women and it was such a good experience, I knew I wanted to do something similar for my BFA. I was really inspired by Katie Payne’s work in the HFAC over the summer and although I had already been thinking about Heavenly Mother, her work really inspired me to do some more studying. Come Fall I met with an advisor, told him my idea, wrote a paper about execution, and went to work. I think the thing I struggled with most was how to visually represent such a topic in photographs. My images don’t depict Heavenly Mother, but a woman on a “journey” to find Her and I consider that very special, sacred work. I decided to reach out to other people and find out how many actually believed or had experiences regarding Her, and the outcome was amazing.

White curtains

In about a week and a half I had around 300 responses to an online survey I created, women reaching out via email and other social media, and a lot of amazing feedback. Women (and a few men) were telling stories, sharing beliefs, and I became so invested I knew I had to include some of their text in my project. From there, color palettes, composition, and even the amount and significance of the 12 images (considered a perfect number and represents God’s authority) fell into place. Within two weeks I shot the images, printed, framed, mounted, and hung.”

Rebeca Alvarez

Senior, Illustration

Rebeca Alvarez


Title: “Lahi Akua” Hawaiian for Union of the gods.

Inspiration: “I was inspired to do Hawaiian Mythology about two years ago when I was assigned to design a character line up of a specific mythology. The more I researched, the more I fell in love with the rich stories of the Hawaiian Islands. I have worked on this project for two semesters straight, working one on one with my faculty mentor, David Dibble. I wrote a research paper of about 15 pages before I even started the artwork. We do this as a program because it is crucial to understand the subject matter before creating artwork for it. Since I am wanting to work as a concept artist, I based my show as if it were concept art for an animated movie, being more stylized. I painted the pieces with Adobe Photoshop, each one taking about 12-15 hours each, maybe more.”

Jamie Woolley

Senior, Illustration

Title: “The Little Mermaid”

Inspiration: “The inspiration behind it was the original story written by Hans Christian Andersen. The story is a lot different than most people think it is, and in my art I wanted to represent those differences and the feelings I had while reading that story along with my own takes on the story’s theme.  All of my drawings were done traditionally with a pencil, then scanned into the computer and either cleaned up or painted. I wanted to emulate watercolor painting because it is my other favorite medium. Doing it digitally is just a little quicker. I’ve been working on the show all semester.”

Jamie Woolley

Cori Nelson

Senior, Studio Art

Title: None

Inspiration: “My display is my BFA final show, it doesn’t have a title. As I created the paintings and woven sculptures I considered themes of  identity as defined and developed by a person’s memories and association with geographical places. My paintings were created in reference to specific memories I have and places related to those memories. The large canvas paintings I created, I also tore and cut apart then reassembled into the woven structures presented. To me, these sculptures are a representation of the ability memories and identities have of constantly changing and adapting. I have been working on these projects for about a year (though not all the paintings and weavings I created made it into the final show). The hundreds of hours I put in included not just painting and building of structures, but also building my own panels and grinding my own oil paints.”


Jason McDonald

Senior, Studio Art

Wood art

Title: “Agenda Items No 5 And 6 Block My View”

Inspiration: “I have always been interested in the local community political process as well as the the impact that process has on the environment. Coupling this with my upbringing as the son and employee of a self employed remodeling contractor it was natural for me to mix these languages to ask questions of our relationship with both the manmade and natural biomes around us. What it is made of is largely self evident but it took me over 100 hours to complete, research and all.”

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