Lamar University Press Logo

‘Sonder,’ LU’s senior art thesis show, on display through May 14

Donovan Curb stands with his senior thesis at the Disman Art Museum. UP photo by Lorenzo Johnson Jr.

Lamar University art students are presenting “Sonder,” the senior thesis show, through May 14 in the Dishman Art Museum. The show features Deshaun Bell’s journaling design project is titled “A Girls Garden,” a hypothetical girls’ organization.

“Young African American girls face many obstacles before becoming young women,” Bell said. “They suffer under the pressure of social norms, the stereotype of needing to be strong, and, sadly, undergoing the impression that their blackness will never be beautiful.”

In her thesis statement, Bell states that African American youth statistically experience more illness, poverty and discrimination than their white peers.

“Because of this, they tend to have a much higher risk of being diagnosed with many different mental health problems,” she said. “They also have fewer resources and opportunities to receive the support needed to be successful. Many times, mental health is overlooked and, in most cases, we are told to be strong.”  

Bell said she chose journaling as her thesis because contemporary counseling practices often encourage journaling for those who are dealing with mental health issues.

“Journaling can aid in improving relationships with others, lowering a person’s blood pressure, and decreasing symptoms of depression,” she said.

Bell said her work is intended to engage the audience and create an empathetic mood, as well as establish a supportive and well balanced outlet.

“This project was designed to enlighten and uplift the audience,” she said.

Donovan Curb’s project is titled “Meet Your Heroes.” The project takes the form of a commercial convention installation featuring African American superheroes drawn in Japanese anime style.

“I was inspired by Japanese media, as well as creating representation because African American characters do not receive a lot attention and they can be designed better on paper and animation.

“This design choice is intended to provide representation to people of color while taking inspiration from the elements, magic, ninjas, technology and dragons. These superheroes are based on everyday people who were studied for their unique personalities and qualities.”

Curb said typically anime characters do not represent people of color.

“The digital process consists of colorization and compositional decisions to enhance the dramatic depiction of the characters’ powers,” he said. “In addition to providing a virtual space for the representation of persons of color, the installation format of this work is intended to promote viewer interaction and engagement for the purpose of entertainment.”

By giving a space for representation for people of color, Curb said he wants to give people a chance to see themselves in a positive light.

“Sonder,” the Spring 2022 Senior Thesis Exhibition will be on display through May 14, in the Dishman Art Museum, 1030 E. Lavaca St. on the Lamar University campus.

Refreshments will be served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., May 14, following commencement.

'Sonder' will be on display through May 14 at the Dishman Art Museum. UP photo by Lorenzo Johnson Jr.
Category: Features