In the spotlight: Shannon Gross
Shannon Gross, current senior and art studio major, exhibited three works of sculpture at the Juried Student Exhibition, and their piece, “Touch Me” won first place. The sculpture features the bottom half of a nude female body in the process of transitioning to a floral-esque abstract sculpture, complete with dripping green paint and pink floral embroidery.
“The one that won was my first successful attempt at figurative sculptural work,” they said. “Honestly, it’s a pretty personal piece.” Gross said that the initial inspiration stemmed from feelings of gender dysphoria, as well as their own past as a rape victim and as someone who self-harmed.
Gross said that the “weird, petal-like additions” were intended to symbolize regrowth and recovery, and that the embroidery acts as a “bandage.” However, Gross’s favorite piece they submitted was not the sculpture that was selected as the winner. Gross’s favorite was the “Beloved with Chanterelles” piece. “I think it’s stronger visually, and I like the ambiguity it presents,” they said, referring to the dismembered presence of the body.
Gross won a $100 gift card to the bookstore for their sculpture. Gross is headed to Rhode Island School for Design for a Master of Fine Arts after graduation, their first-choice graduate program.