This fall’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, The Nature of Spirit, The Spirit of Nature, will feature two Creighton seniors, Halley Gallagher and Leroy Janis, both BFA candidates in studio art. They will be displaying their work at the Lied Art Gallery beginning Dec. 6 2008.
Although both artists differ greatly in inspiration and personal background, the two mesh well to promise an unforgettable display of artistic talent. They share a small studio space and will soon be joining forces to show that Creighton not only produces successful doctors and lawyers, but also influential and proficient artists.
“This will be a great opportunity for me to put my name out there. I knew in high school that I wanted to do something with music and art,” said Janis.
Janis is from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He will be the first Native American to graduate from Creighton University with a BFA degree in Studio Art. His work, consisting of drawings and paintings has also been displayed at the Skutt Student Center and the Native American Indian Art Market at the Rose Theater of Omaha.
“I take my themes from my culture and heritage. I want to create an empowering work, something that is strong that people will remember, something that evokes emotion,” said Janis.
Gallagher’s work goes in a slightly different direction. Also a painter, her pieces are based on concept called Dinnergy. It is mathematically based on the Fibonacci sequence because it depicts Nature’s ability to create order within a pattern of sharing. Gallagher wants to use her work as way to show people that everything is connected.
“We really are so connected. Dinnergy is how we’re connected. It’s the most basic patter. You can see it in the pinecones and sunflowers,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher wishes her work to not only be pleasing to the eye, but good for the soul as well. She was unsure about where and education at Creighton would take her in life.
“I came to Creighton thinking I would be a pharmacist. When we come to school some of us just know what it’s about. I want to provide a different sort of healing service through my art. What I am trying to do is have fun and be free,” said Gallagher.
Both artists plan to pursue their masters in the Fine Arts after graduation, while both are still unsure of which graduate school they plan to attend.
The exhibit is funded in part by the support of the Richard and Mary McCormick Endowment for the Fine and Performing Arts, the Grace Keenan Fund and an anonymous source.