Written by Carolyn Fairbanks. Media by Kat Kelley.
Saturday cartoons and graphic novels were some of Senior Olivia Snyder’s inspiration for her Original Exhibition, “Marrow.” Her dreams to be a character developer were clear Sunday night at her exhibition’s opening reception. Guests walked into a room filled with unique creatures covering the walls on canvas. These creatures were actually combinations of animals chosen by people she knew, creating an art exhibition full of personalities from those she cares about.
“The design of the character has always interested me,” Snyder explained. “From the movement of the lines to the sketched in details with swatches of color, the entirety of the process is fascinating.” The paintings were hung on canvases pinned up on the walls. Snyder used drywall primer and washes of acrylic paint. What was really cool was that the paint ran off the canvas onto the white walls, making the characters come alive.
The process is almost as interesting as the end result. After Snyder had the two creatures that would be come one, she sketched them on the canvas and never erased the initial sketch. “This represents that people can change,” Snyder conveyed in her artist statement, “but their roots will always have a hand in defining them.” The sketches begin with the bones and movement and then evolve from there. The process took from 3 to 6 hours for each character. The total exhibition took about a semester and a half, but these characters have been developing since high school according to Snyder. “These creatures are my attempts to personify character traits that I see people lean towards—watchful, protective, playful, athletic,“ Snyder clarifies.
As Snyder created the combinations of animals, she realized the intentions of each person that chose their favorite animals. “The animals have universal characteristics,” Snyder explained. “People chose particular animals to match their personalities or personalities of people they know.” Snyder believes these new animals tell a story and she hopes people leave finding the stories the characters create.
After graduation Snyder hopes to continue painting. Her dream would be to find work as a character developer, but she also would love to teach art. She hopes to get her MFA at Savannah College of Art and Design after graduating Greenville College. Snyder’s exhibition will be in the Rowland Art Gallery in the Maves Art Center through April 18th.