Madison Dea, Megan Escobar take ‘a detour through the mind’ in collaborative senior art show

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Photo credit: Celeste Ramirez

Photographs of fellow seniors by Madison Dea with paint-designs by Megan Escobar hang on the wall in the Eastern Star Gallery on May 16 for Escobar and Dae's senior art show entitled "a dEtOUR tHrOuGh THe miNd." Escobar explains that the black and white portraits represent the "restrictions of life" and the paint and different figures represent the students' "creative space as artists."

The Eastern Star Gallery was filled with students, faculty and family for Megan Escobar and Madison Dea’s collaborative senior art show on May 16. Kehlani played in the background and videos of the sea and Escobar playing with paint were projected on the ceilings. Visitors looked at the various portraits on the walls and flipped through Dea’s photography portfolio and Escobar’s personal journals. 

The joint show, entitled “a dEtOUR tHrOuGh THe miNd,” displayed photographs of peers taken by Dea, along with drawn and painted details on the photos by Escobar.

“Meg and I decided to do something as a ‘senior hoorah’ and take pictures of the seniors in advanced art classes who have put on all the gallery [shows],” Dea said. “Then [we] technically enhance[d] the photos that we took to make them more up for interpretation.”

The gallery was divided into different stations, which included the main photographs, samples of what Escobar described as her “multidimensional” art and Dea’s photography portfolio. Escobar’s detailed journals with sketches and clippings sat on a podium in the middle of the gallery.

“I started journaling because it helped my mental health a lot,” Escobar said. “That is when I started to realize that so does art, so I kind of started to explore more art realms and do all that.”

Dea explained that the gallery also had different “corners.” One section included cameras, film, and green potted plants on a yellow ladder, which she called the “photography” corner. She also pointed out the “ceramic pottery corner,” which had an easel, paintbrushes and a block of clay. Escobar said they added this part to the gallery to make it an interactive space. Visual arts teacher Carolyn Janssen said she particularly “loved” this aspect.

“Different stations are referencing the different visual arts, so there is a station with objects and cameras, there is a section with clay and tools and then there is a world with paintings being made,” Janssen said. “I think that’s cool.”

Janssen believes Escobar’s “technique,” “talent” and “ambition” have grown in the last two years. She said that Escobar has “completely unleashed” her perspective and her ideas.

“I am so amazed by [Escobar,] and I think her perspective and point of view is so innovative, deep and rich. I just think she has so much more art in her, and I can’t wait to see it all,” Janssen said. “Megan was new to taking visual art classes at Archer until last year, and she has exploded in that time. This show represents two years of really hard work, and it’s amazing to see how fearless she’s been.”

Dea’s photography portfolio was also available to flip through. It contained self-portraits, photos taken on a film camera and other portraiture projects. Dea took the photos of different seniors in advanced art classes, making the recognition of seniors the main focal point of the gallery.

“We just wanted to showcase everyone — it wasn’t necessarily about us,” Dea said. “It was celebrating senior artists and how far they’ve gone.” 

Escobar explained what the collaborative art pieces represented. The initial black and white portrait symbolized “the restrictions of life” and the added drawings and painting represent the individual artists’ “creative space.”

“For [Dea and I,] it was the idea that we wanted to celebrate all of the artists that we have kind of been inspired from as peers and just been able to support and who have supported us,” Escobar added.

Dea’s advanced photography teacher, Marya Alford, noted how this farewell show was a “really special” exhibition for the Eastern Star Gallery due to its mixture of two art forms.

“It’s the first show this year where the work is actually collaborative in so many ways,” Alford said. “It’s a true collaboration between two artists who came together in their two mediums of choice. It’s lovely to see that combination.”

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  • Photographs by senior Madison Dea lay on a pink quilt in the Eastern Star Gallery. These specific photos were Dea's own individual work and non-collaborative.

    Photo credit: Celeste Ramirez

  • Potted plants sit in the corner on a shelf in one area of Megan Escobar and Madison Dea's senior art show. Dea described this as the "photography corner."

    Photo credit: Celeste Ramirez

  • Senior Kelly Tuxpan looks through fellow senior Megan Escobar's journals in the Eastern Star Gallery. An image is projected on Tuxpan's face depicting Escobar's hands swirling in paint.

    Photo credit: Celeste Ramirez

  • Students browse through senior Megan Escobar's journals in the Eastern Star Gallery. The "personal journals" contain written journal entries, miniature paintings, clip-ins and sketches. Escobar featured three of her journals, which she has been creating since 2016.

    Photo credit: Celeste Ramirez

  • Junior Kimberly Tuxpan sticks a sticker on the walls of the Eastern Star Gallery. Escobar explains that the collaborative gallery was also made to be a "space where you could do art if you wanted to."

    Photo credit: Celeste Ramirez

  • An easel with a painting and a block of clay sit in one corner of the gallery. Janssen said that these smaller parts of the gallery are meant to "reference" different forms of visual art. There is also a heart-shaped painting Escobar featured that she said means a lot to her because it is her aunt's work and there are not a lot of artists in her family.

    Photo credit: Celeste Ramirez

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