Throughout the semester students have spent hours in the Visual Arts Center, on the third floor of McLellan, at Fort Andross and in the Mid-Coast communities working on projects with Bowdoin's visual arts department.

Though their work varies from introductory level printmaking to advanced independent studies, these students have all engaged in the creative process. Much of their work will be on display in the coming weeks across campus as the semester draws to a close.

Members of Adjunct Lecturer Wiebke Theodore's Architecture I course culminated their semester long immersion in architectural design by creating plans for a year-round farmers' market in Brunswick.

Theodore chose to culminate her course in a community-based project that demonstrates architecture's contemporary applicability, saying "architecture has much that can be criticized...the design process [can be used] to make a real difference in the built environment."

To immerse themselves in community-directed design, students engaged in breakout brainstorming sessions about Brunswick's food system with other students, local farmers, activists and, members of the Brunswick community.

As a culmination of their work, the students will participate in a service learning symposium and their final designs will be exhibited during Brunswick's Art Walk on May 14.

Associate Professor of Art Michael Kolster's Photo I class will be exhibiting final portfolios on the third floor of the McLellan Building.

Throughout the semester, students completed weekly assignments to learn photography basics and the creative process; however, the final project of 12 photos allowed for independent, self-directed work.

Given the choice to look through their work from the semester to create what Kolster called a "greatest hits" collection, students were able to reflect and rediscover their own work.

Other students chose to determine a theme and create a series of photos around it.

Kolster noted that the "progress that they made this semester is really fantastic...really encouraged by the risks that they've been taking, [and the] different things they've discovered."

Though each student's work is unique, photography is about choices, what to shoot, what to print, what to exhibit and, as Kolster says, "how you decide to structure a response to these bigger questions of selection" is a process of "coming to terms with interests."

Kolster's upper-level photography class is also exhibiting its work on Friday. This intensive course, Photo Seminar, is a forum for students to embark on self-designed creative explorations through proposal, development, execution of and reflection on a particular idea or set of questions.

The class has used weekly critiques, blog posts, and field trips to conduct conversations about photography.

The final results of their semester long exploration are "wildly and wonderfully varied," said Kolster.

Students were free to use film, digital processing or a combination of the two. This resulted in studies of portraiture, explorations of abstraction, and formal studies of color, though Kolster noted that "running through most all of them is the idea of the photograph as a constructed event, a question of where chance, control and intention all meet."

In addition to the final show in Kresge, titled "Wine Will Be Served," the students are producing a Blurb book of the same name.

Assistant Professor of Art Carrie Scanga's Printmaking I class will exhibit its independently-designed final projects in a variety of media in the Burnett Printmaking Studio.

As part of the course, students also worked with the Food Chain project to create hand-printed posters about economic and social food issues that are hanging in Thorne and Moulton dining halls.

The Senior Studio, the capstone in the Bowdoin's Visual Arts major taught by Scanga is exhibiting the fruits of its year long projects. Senior Studio is an "opportunity to explore an individual course of research through an expanded and committed studio practice" with the intention of preparing "a cohesive body of work for public exhibition."

Through independent projects, senior visual arts majors have engaged with a variety of media and subjects. In doing so they were able to determine, "where their work fits into a larger art-historical articulate the ideas and research behind [their] art practice," said Scanga.

Projects varied as each senior conducted an intensive study of his area of artistic interest.

Sam Gilbert '10 spent the semester working on a large scale with recycled materials he found in the Brunswick dump. Working in the Fort, he is appreciative of how the art department has "given me tons of space, tools and resources to be ambitious and take lots of risks," Gilbert said.

Associate Professor of Art Jim Mullen's course on Portraiture and the Politics of Identity used the semester to examine how questions of identity can manifest themselves through art and how identity can be visually articulated.

Students have devoted their semester to looking a wide range of media from a variety of time periods.

The first half of the semester was devoted to structured projects, but the later half of the course entailed independent projects. These projects ranged from drawing, painting, photography, web-based work, printmaking, collage, sculpture, and installations.

Independent projects will also be on display this week. On Wednesday, May 12 an exhibit featuring the photos of senior Margot Miller and junior Eleanor West will open in the Fishbowl Gallery.

The students shared Vissiting Assistant Professor of Art Meggan Gould as an adviser in their independent studies; however, each conducted a separate independent study.

Miller explores the idea of "found still lives," a subject she describes as everything from "the contents of a drawer to how tools are hung together on a wall."

After determining her focus for the semester, Miller began shooting in February and has spent the past few months amassing as much visual material as possible.

The end product—30 8x10 inch digital photographs—hang in a grid behind unframed glass, held to the wall with bent nails.

Miller noted that "it was sometimes challenging to find exciting visual material," but it was "important to spend my last semester working on something I feel passionate about."

On the opposite side of the Fishbowl hangs Eleanor West's exhibit of nine 22x15 inch digital prints.

West said she chose to devote her independent study to studio photographs that depict scenes from novels she found visually intriguing.

Her inspiration runs from Nabokov to Nancy Drew to Henry James; however, her photos are united by a uniform black background and what she calls "the idea of placing these characters completely out of context."

Spending the majority of her time shooting with a digital SLR in McLellan meant learning new techniques about photo lighting and pushing herself to use a single space in myriad ways.

The opening of exhibits will be Friday May, 15 with Brunswick's ArtWalk.