University of Richmond Museums

Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art

Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center

Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature

Richmond, Virginia 23173


artspace gallery

@ Plant Zero

Zero East 4th Street

Richmond, VA 23224


Contacts: Heather Campbell, Curator of Museum Programs, University Museums, 804-287-6324,, Brian Eckert, Director of Media and Public Relations, 804-287-6659,, or Heather Kachurka, Administrator, Artspace Gallery, 804-232-6464,





March 20, 2009









Light in the Attic: 2009 Senior Thesis Exhibition is on view concurrently in two locations, from April 17 to May 8, 2009, at the Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond Museums, and April 24 to May 17, 2009, at Artspace Gallery @ Plant Zero, Richmond. The senior thesis exhibition is the capstone experience for graduating studio art majors in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Richmond. This year’s exhibition includes art works by Ashley Davis, Sara Perkins, Dan Shoemaker, and Emily Viviani.


Artists’ Statements:

Ashley Davis: This body of work highlights the communication issues present in my life and within our society; we are constantly inundated with information, receiving ideas from the media, from our family and friends, our communities, etc.  What I find interesting is the way in which this information is filtered.  Much of what I believe and value is a direct result of my family and my social environment.  To an extent, they determine what I see, learn, and experience.


Sara Perkins: In my work, earthly realities refer to larger realities of the supernatural world. I employ the visual language of art to highlight the dialogue between these realities; using natural symbols to represent that which transcends absolute cognitive understanding. By allowing the seen to point to that which is unseen, I hope to re-imbue a sense of awe and wonder into the lives of my fellow post-moderns.



Dan Shoemaker: My works strive to cohere my fascination with modern media culture, classical cinema, peculiar pop music, Eastern and existential philosophy, and the elastic definition of the word “reality.” Pitting montage against meditation, experience is presented, not as a logical series of events or a sequential narrative, but as a chronology of moments that, neither minute nor landmark, forge on, loop, slow, and skew, before fading in an oft perused, rarely focused cinema memory.


Emily Viviani: When I create art, I am not trying to relay an image or even a message. Instead, I am trying to insinuate a sentiment, induce déjà vu, or spark a narrative. People are constantly and unknowingly manipulated by the images and text they ingest and their adopted identities are partially a response to circumstance and experience. In this work I wanted to explore the ambiguous space between author and reader as it relates to the relationship between protagonist and spectator.


The studio art majors work throughout their senior year to prepare for this exhibition. In the fall, the students focus on creating a cohesive body of work that supports a developed thesis. The spring semester is spent organizing the exhibition by completing their artwork, refining artist and thesis statements, documenting their artwork, applying for fellowships, and engaging in critiques. The yearlong course was taught by Tanja Softic' and Mark Rhodes, Associate Professors of Art, Department of Art and Art History, University of Richmond.


Throughout the undergraduate studio art program, students are required to take classes in a variety of media. By their senior year, each student has a diverse portfolio of work and has begun to develop a personal style. The senior thesis class provides an opportunity for the students to use what they have learned to create their own work and present it in a professional manner. The art produced for the senior thesis class is created specifically for the final exhibition.


Light in the Attic was organized by the University of Richmond Museums and the Department of Art and Art History in collaboration with Artspace Gallery, and is sponsored in part by 12 12 Gallery, Richmond.









University of Richmond, School of Arts and Sciences Symposium

The School of Arts and Sciences hosts the Student Symposium every spring, which showcases hundreds of student research projects from across the disciplines.


Artist Talks

Friday, April 17, 1:30 to 2:45p.m.

Harnett Museum of Art, Modlin Center for the Arts

1:30 p.m., Art, presented by Ashley Davis

1:45 p.m., Art and Faith: Seen and Unseen, presented by Sara Perkins

2:00 p.m., Video Works, presented by Daniel Shoemaker

2:15 p.m., Explorations in Narrative, presented by Emily Viviani



Friday, April 24, 7 to 10 p.m.

Opening reception and preview of the exhibition

Light in the Attic: 2009 Senior Thesis Exhibition

Artspace Gallery @ Plant Zero, Zero East 4th Street, Richmond




All exhibitions and programs are open to the public and free of charge.



Note: Images for press are available by contacting Heather Campbell, 804-287-6324 or


University of Richmond Museums comprises the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, the Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, and the Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature. Admission to all museums is free and open to the public. For group visits and tours, please call 804-287-6424 at least two weeks prior to your visit for reservations. Call 804-289-8276 for information and directions or visit our website at


The Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art is located in the George M. Modlin Center for the Arts. Museum hours:  (1/13/09 through 4/26/09): Tuesday through Sunday, 1 to 5 pm. Summer hours (4/29–5/15/09): Wednesday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. Closed Easter Weekend (4/11-13/09), and Summer Break (5/16-8/19/09).


The Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center is also located in the George M. Modlin Center for the Arts. Museum hours: (1/13/09 through 4/4/09): Wednesday through Saturday, 1 to 3 pm., and by appointment (804-287-6424). Closed same schedule as above.


The Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature is located in a separate wing of the Boatwright Memorial Library with its entrance on Richmond Way. Museum hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11am to 5pm; Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 pm. Closed Easter Weekend (4/11-13/09) and Independence Day weekend (7/3-6/09).



Artspace is located in the Plant Zero Art Center, 3 blocks south of the James River at the 14th Street Bridge, and is bounded by East 3rd St, Hull St., and Decatur St. A fenced and lighted parking lot faces the E. 4th St. entrance and can be accessed from Hull St. or Decatur. Artspace has access from within Plant Zero as well as a separate entrance physically located at 31 East 3rd Street.


Artspace is open to the public daily from 12-4 p.m. Artspace is funded in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts.