‘SynThesis’ Show Features Graduating Seniors’ Work at The Art Gallery

Pensacola – Nature’s resiliency inspires Hannah “Wolfy” Howell’s art.

“I’m fascinated with the circle of life and how nature has the ability to grow and rebuild itself,” Howell said. “Nature provides a great example of moving on when bad things happen. New things often come from old, decomposing things.”

Howell is one of five graduating bachelor of fine art students whose work is showcased in the latest exhibit in The Art Gallery inside the Center for Fine and Performing Arts on the University of West Florida’s Pensacola Campus. The exhibit, called “SynThesis,” remains up until May 6.

Howell’s India ink and watercolor creations feature animals and plants prominently. They also feature bones and skulls.

“As an artist, I hope to evoke beauty and wonder through things perceived as creepy, scary or morbid. To me, bringing these things to life in watercolors with lively hues helps to evoke new wonder and emotion,” Howell says in her artist statement for the show.

The work in “SynThesis” incorporates a variety of media.

“I think this show is a good representation of our traditional studio arts program including printmaking, drawing and painting,” said Nicholas Croghan, director of The Art Gallery. “It also speaks to contemporary issues such as installation art and the role of digital art, including animation and 3-D printing.”

Zachary Machado said he is looking forward to finding a job in game design or animation now that he is finishing his degree.

Machado’s contributions to the show include a videogame called “Jabbernauts.” His 3-D arena brawling game is inspired by two other games, “Super Smash Bros.” and “Gang Beasts.”

“The goal of my work is to illustrate a weaving narrative between the three-dimensional prints and animations,” Machado says in his artist statement. “I aim to give the viewer a story to interpret through the characters created and give an insight into their possible backgrounds.”

Corey Frey is exhibiting paintings as well as installations in “SynThesis.”

“I’m interested in a dialogue with materials,” Frey said.

His mixed-media installation called “Messenger” consists of fabric, wood, thread, rope and a tree stump.

“I found the stump when I was driving,” Frey said. “I had to clean it up and get it from Point A to Point B, and that interaction informed the final piece. ‘Messenger’ is a metaphor for things that have a sense of solidity to them like the tree. It’s about things having a sense of gravitas, or heaviness, of being grounded.”

Both Jamie Diffee and Jasmine Holmes attended a monthlong exchange program at Carlow College in Carlow, Ireland, this summer. The program, called “The Emerald Coast Meets the Emerald Isle,” continues to have a big influence on their artwork, including the pieces that are on display in “SynThesis.”

“Being able to experience such a beautiful place for a period of time and spend time in the landscape alone definitely influenced my printmaking but especially my painting,” Diffee said.

Holmes said the landscape in Ireland still informs the intricate line work involved in her portraiture.

“Different rock formations and all the distinctive lines and textures we encountered in the landscape were amazing,” Holmes said. “There were so many patterns in nature and such intricate lines that we were exposed to as we were exploring. I tried to incorporate all that natural beauty into my work.”

The Art Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call 850.474.2696.