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University Advancement office showcases student art

Charlie Neff
Staff Writer

Ashley Contreras, a studio art major, was recently selected to have her student project series displayed in the University Advancement lobby.

Contreras produced her student project series during an advanced painting class last spring when she used photography as a base to form a painting.

Contreras created five paintings during the project, each displaying silhouettes of power lines and telephone poles at unique angles.

The paintings use violet and navy blue as the dominating colors, hinting dusk as the time of day.

“I like the shape of telephone poles, it’s very interesting to me,” Contreras said.

“Telephone poles are so common, it’s like we don’t see them at all. It reminds me of the impact we have,” Contreras said.

The paintings were originally displayed in the Harris Art Gallery among other pieces created by students, but it was only Contreras’s series that graduated into the University Advancement Lobby for further display.

Director of Galleries Dion Johnson chose Contreras’s series to be displayed in the University Advancement lobby.

“I felt as though her works were both powerful and intimate, and responded at a level technically and conceptually, but stood out and held her own voice,” Johnson said.

“I really enjoy her work, which contains images of power lines and poles that create an abstract grided network,” Johnson said.

Contreras was proud to show off the major accomplishment she has had at the University.

“I was so excited and felt that it was a total privilege,” Contreras said.

“My mom came to visit all the way from Texas and was able to see my work displayed. It was such a great moment for me,” she said.

The University Advance­ment staff is also excited of the new addition to the building.

“It is important for us to showcase our students whenever possible,” Charles Bentley, public relations director, said.

“Many people come in this building – alumni, students, members of the media, donors, city executives and even state legislators.

“It gets conversation going when people ask who is responsible for these paintings, and we are able to say our student painted that,” Bentley said.

Contreras is the fourth studio art major to be featured in offices around campus.

“The student project series is a collaborative effort with other departments on campus,” Johnson said.

Johnson also explained that when an exhibition opportunity presents themselves, they will pick an art piece that best suits that space.

Charlie Neff can be reached at

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