Photo courtesy of McKenzie Tucker
Senior studio art major, McKenzie Tucker’s art journey is finally coming full circle. Her hard work will be showcased in her upcoming exhibition as she ends her time here at Tarleton.
“I have loved art ever since I was little,” Tucker said.
Everything from doodling to painting to photography has always excited her. Throughout high school, she competed in many art competitions and took every art course that was at her disposal.
“My parents always encouraged me to follow my passions,” Tucker said. She recalled before college, her father sat her down and explained to her that she didn’t have to pursue higher education to be an artist, he believed she held the skills she needed to succeed. However, Tucker decided to attend Tarleton and pursue a degree in studio arts in order to grow, have structure, hone her skills, and develop her particular craft.
Tucker will soon be presenting her Senior Exhibition. This body of work depicts the abstracted female form on organic shapes layered and collage together.
“This will be my first solo exhibition and I’m just so excited to present my work,” Tucker said.
An element of Tucker’s show is a fundraiser to support and finance supplies for her Senior Exhibition. She will then be donating the remaining fundraiser proceeds as well as $100 of her own funds to her alma mater, Brownwood High School, an art department which she says, “helped to shape and fuel her in her goals.”
Tucker’s exhibition is unique— no other senior has chosen to do a fundraiser along with their exhibition at Tarleton. Tucker will be presenting five large pieces comprised of much smaller pieces, all made up of paintings.
The idea for this exhibition began with a color palette including terracotta, brown, cream, and fleshy tones.
“This collection is warm, and it’s comforting,” Tucker said.
The women portrayed in her piece are encapsulated in womb-like shapes, trapped, not out of anxiety or fear—but out of a pure comfort and peace.
“This work is about coming to terms with confinement, finding comfort in who I am, and everything that I’ve been through and dealt with as an artist,” Tucker said.
This show aims to address current social issues such as anxiety and depression, or whatever else may confine a person on a daily basis.
“You must first become comfortable before you can overcome,” Tucker said.
Throughout her artistic journey Tucker has resonated with impressionistic artworks such as Van Gogh’s Starry Night, which she has seen in person twice—both times she cried. Currently some of her influences come from Instagram along with other social media.
“I love Ashley Longshore, a female pop art painter, and C.J. Hendry, a New York based Australian artist who does photo realistic pencil drawings,” Tucker said.
After graduating from Tarleton, Tucker will continue her artistic journey as a Graphic Designer at GreenFox Marketing in Granbury, TX. She has been working with this marketing company while finishing her education, and plans to move to a full time position with the company after graduation.
Tucker’s Senior Exhibition begins Nov. 15 and will run until Nov. 19. There will be a final presentation on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m., which is open to the public at Clyde H. Wells Gallery in the art building on campus.
“Come to the exhibition, and if you’re able, donations are greatly appreciated,” Tucker said.
You can visit mckenziesaige.com, where you are able to donate through PayPal or Venmo, and all donors will be recognized at the exhibition. Prints will also be awarded to the first 20 people that show up at the exhibition. Tucker hopes to educate the audience on what it takes to produce a show like this—it is much more than just creating art.
“I want to give back to those who have shaped me thus far,” Tucker said.
In the planning and execution of her senior exhibition, Tucker has been a prime example of Tarleton’s core values, including leadership, service, and excellence, just to name a few. The skills learned during her time here will soon be put to work after she graduates, and her legacy will leave large shoes for future Tarleton artists to fill.