On Saturday, five seniors?Susie Martin, Maya Jaafar, Ivy Blackmore, Erin Furey, and Livy Lewis?will cap their art careers at Bowdoin. Their show, "Where Am I?" will open at 8 p.m. in the Visual Arts Center.

"The title of our show overall is partly inspired by the fact that a lot of us are using material from our study abroad trips, and most of us are looking at ideas of place and where we are," Martin said.

Martin, who created watercolor street scenes for the show, said the topic appealed to her because "I love photographing and painting strangers and trying to catch people before they notice me. I'm also fascinated with the dynamics of strangers and their close proximity with each other. People get so close to each other on crowded city streets, and yet they never meet."

Study abroad experiences also inspired Jaafar's project, a series of gouache paintings (a painting technique using opaque watercolors prepared with gum) that show people in different outdoor scenes, especially with strong outdoor light.

"When I was studying in Tasmania, I was really struck by the sunlight there," Jaafar said. "Because there is no ozone layer above Tasmania, the sunlight shines through the atmosphere unfiltered, creating incredibly strong shadows."

She added, "When I returned to Bowdoin, I was just as struck by the light in Maine and began to notice how our light plays such a huge role in what we see and how we see it."

Blackmore's project hits closer to Bowdoin's home in Maine, as she wove fabric to resemble seaweed and made two short films.

"A lot of my work has to do with decay, the beauty of decay, and the sense of regeneration that comes out of the process of organic material breaking down," Blackmore said.

"Decay really excites me," she continued. "Well, specifically decay along the shoreline. I love the smell of mud, of salt, and of the life beginning created out of all the decay. I wanted to try and capture this process: death, but also life."

Furey, who did her art with the etching technique of dry points, said that her family and friends were a major influence in her work. She added that memory comes up as a major theme.

"Hydrangea bushes are a strong symbol for memory, and references to literature are a mechanism for conveying childhood memories. You'll see a lot of squares, which basically demonstrates the passage of time," she said.

"In general, I think I want to make things that are beautiful, eerie, complex, dark, and filled with secrets," Furey continued. "I am nowhere near achieving what I want to through art, but I hope this is a start."

Even though they used different mediums and had different goals, all five seniors share the hope that their art will connect with viewers.

"It's just you and these pieces and no one else in the universe," Blackmore said. "From that point people can establish their own reaction or relationship and come to their own conclusions."

"I want people to look at my paintings and then look around themselves and start to notice how powerful our eyes and brain are to be able to piece together blocks of color," Jaafar said. "I also want them to make people eager to spend time outside."

Furey said that she hopes visitors to the show will "enjoy the work [and] find something beautiful in it, even if it's as tiny as a hidden eyeball in the hydrangea bushes. I want them to get a little bit lost in themselves while they're there."

After the opening on Saturday, the artwork of these five seniors will be on display in the VAC until April 26.