Arts & Culture

Students present artwork to professionals, get one-on-one critiques and encouragement

A combined group of Oglethorpe students and high school students from nearby Chamblee Charter High School attended a special guest lecture hosted by OU’s visual artist-in-residence Shanequa Gay.

Sitting among Gay’s works-in-progress, students gained insight into the creative processes of three professional artists: Yanique Norman, a multimedia artist; Jamaal Barber, a printmaker; and Jamele Wright, Sr., a multimedia artist specializing in textiles.

After a Q&A with the panel, students broke out into groups to present their most recent work to the artists. Each student received valuable one-on-one time with the four artists, speaking to them directly about their own creative processes. Warm and encouraging, the artists gave special attention to each student, uplifting the young artists and offering suggestions for how they might continue to grow.

An Oglethorpe student shows her work to artist Shanequa Gay

An OU student shows their recent photographs to artists Shanequa Gay and Jamele Wright, Sr.

“I loved having Black artists come here to critique our work and show us their work. It’s so important to show diversity,” says alumnus Stephen Sommerow ’22, who graduated last semester with a degree in biology, but has returned to campus to take more classes and play soccer.

As part of her residency, Atlanta artist and activist Shanequa Gay has been providing educational experiences for OU’s students, welcoming them into her busy studio as she develops her next works of art.

“Coming to school every day and being able to talk to Shanequa and email her — to ask her all these questions that I have — it’s really nice,” says studio art major Aiden Carter ’26.

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