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Stealin’ the Show



Twelve graduating seniors in the bachelor’s of fine arts program have turned a former Abercrombie & Fitch store in the Savannah Mall into an art galley showcasing a collection of exhibits that constitute their capstone projects, a prerequisite for graduation.

The cavernous retail space, turned gallery through April 22, gleams with artwork ranging from brightly colored ceramic busts and striking black and white portraits to appealing commercial graphic design.

Marianne Browne’s 30 black and white photos render the facial expression of friends and family members in such a way that it creates, for the gallery visitor, the illusion of a shared, intimate moment with the subject.

“She has a way of capturing the essence of people, their inner beauty and really who they are,” said Rhiannon Modzelewski a close friend and fellow BFA student whose image is part of the collection. “I’m proud of her and amazed at the quality of the work she puts out.”

Brown, who was born and raised in Savannah and aspires to be a magazine staff photographer, has a passion for darkroom photography and what it teaches aspiring photographers.

“I feel that people who eventually will work in digital photography should learn to do the basics in a darkroom, setting up a picture and studying composition even if it takes more time.”

A few steps from Brown’s collection, gallery visitors can find an assortment of brightly colored ceramic busts by David “Mac” Schlicht. Each of the nine busts tells the story of an influential person in Mac’s life and each has words inscribed that hint at pivotal moments in that person’s life.

“They are my everyday heroes and favorite people,” said Mac. His collection includes busts of Armstrong professors John and Linda Jensen, who teach sculpture and photography respectively.

Mac, who was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome from an early age, experienced a tumultuous childhood and early adulthood, but has found in his art a source of calmness and happiness.

“I like to make my art fun to look at as much as I enjoy working on it,” he said.

During an opening reception in early April, each graduating student introduced their work to a crowd of visitors, including family, friends and Armstrong faculty members. The artists in the 2011 spring graduation art exhibition are:

SAM BUICE | MARIANNE BROWN | BRANDY CHANDLER | TOM COOPER | MEGAN GARRISON | ANDREA JOHNSON | DAVID “MAC” SCHLICHT | LINDSAY STANFORD | JESSE SOUTH | MICHAELE MADDOX | MARCUS MARSHALL | AMY MOORE