Art Thesis Open House

Katie Malony in her studio space

Unbeknownst to much of the Guilford College community, the building nestled among the gas stations, side streets and Hodgins Apartments had an open house for the thesis students this Friday. Hildebrandt, the official name of the studio space, is sectioned off into individual spaces for the thesis students that we have been highlighting and have yet to be highlighted. Many of the artists were interacting with their space, for example, Katie Maloney (above) is working on her potters wheel during the open house. Several other students were seen discussing their process, drawing visitors, painting their own work or simply greeting those who entered their space.

Sammy Wandel
Katie Malony

The first studio I entered was Sammy Wandel’s and Katie Malony’s, both ceramics thesis students. Sammy’s pieces (to the left) were colossal in comparison to Katie Malony’s, which were delicately placed on a table. Traveling to the room across the hall were Keita Tsutsumi’s pieces which combined abstraction with the human body in a sculptural form. Keita’s ability to stack a figure by disconnecting a form from its reality is extremely interesting to me personally and I highly anticipate his finished work.

Keita Tsutsumi

Martha McGehee’s surrealist painting pieces lined the walls of a studio space with dream-like images of childhood objects mixed with pastel hues. Along with her calming pieces were also mystical paintings that exemplified natural environments in a cerulean world.

Martha McGehee
Ryan James
Hannah Fillingim

Ryan James, a fellow Hand/Eye blogger (awww yeahhh), displayed his quirky pieces in the upstairs studio space shared with Hannah Fillingim. Ryan’s pieces seemed to carry a deep narrative while also displaying a limited color scheme in regards to the aesthetics. In the same room, Hannah Fillingim, is creating pieces with a vast amount of color and vibrancy. Her pieces primarily included figures with a combination of text and phrases projected in brightly colored paints (seen below).

Madison Heltzel’s work was amazing with a combination of natural objects mounted on an existing surface. These natural objects included mud which she smeared and painted on to a simple dark surface.

Madison Heltzel

An area to have your portrait drawn, a great way to interact with the Guilford community, was created by John Meade in his studio space for a charge of $2. His prints varied in color but were primarily filled with texture and delicate lines.

John Meade
Jess Mrugala

Working with paint, Jess Mrugala and Sadie Hammond’s pieces both include one word: Color. Sadie’s pieces focus on figures in brightly colored settings while Jess’s pieces are large in scale and completely abstract.


Lastly, Emily Stamey’s studio space which spilled into two rooms features subjects that are not traditionally painted; for example, members in the LBGTQ community.


Walking through the spaces, viewing my peers and their work, was a refreshing experience and I believe that interested thesis students would have benefited from visiting the open house. Overall, the experience was a chance for me to admire everyone’s hard work and support the Guilford College art community.

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