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Briggs Library Senior Art Award

Posted by Peter Bremer on Monday, May. 5, 2014

Sea otters like to eat sea urchins, and that's good thing too otherwise the ocean would have way too many of the spiny creatures. Senior Katreina Gibson, a Studio Art major, explores this dynamic in her piece entitled Trophic Cascade: Kelp Forest.

"It's really exciting to see all the connections between different animals and plants," Gibson said.

In her work, a playful sea otter erupts from the canvas against a backdrop of kelp ribbons and spiky urchins. The fact that they are all interrelated and so accurately depicted speaks to Gibson's biology minor, but the viewer doesn't need a scientific background to get a sense of this underwater scene.

"I hope people come away with a sense of connection," she said. "Learning about something brings you closer to the world."

Besides showing the balance between prey and predator, the work also showcases the artist's talents in multiple mediums. The sea otter is frozen in watery ascent, a tangible finger of sculpture that springs from the vibrant acrylic background as if leaping from one world into ours.

Gibson also incorporated a variety of found objects into the piece, a veritable random selection of materials to further enhance the viewing experience.

Following graduation this spring, she hopes to spend several years teaching for the NCCC, a division of AmeriCorps. Eventually, she would like to apprentice with a potter.

Briggs Library Art Awards are given out annually for the Senior Art Show as well as the Juried Art Exhibit. Purchased artwork hangs permanently in Briggs Library.