News Release: Annual Honors Exhibition Showcases Work by Senior Art Students March 2–17

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February 07, 2017

Feb. 7, 2017

Contact: Cheryl Knauer



“The Identity Collective: Exploring the Art of Self” runs Thursday, March 2–Friday, March 17, in McDaniel’s Rice Gallery

Opening Reception:  Thursday, March 2, 5:30–7:30 p.m., with a gallery talk at 6 p.m

WESTMINSTER, Md. – McDaniel College’s student honors exhibition features a variety of work from six senior art students. Titled “The Identity Collective: Exploring the Art of Self,” this annual exhibition runs Thursday, March 2–Friday, March 17, in Rice Gallery, Peterson Hall, at 2 College Hill, Westminster, Md. An opening reception takes place Thursday, March 2, 5:30–7:30 p.m., with a gallery talk at 6 p.m.

Seniors showcasing their works are Suzannah Banister of Cockeysville, Md., Anna Eckard of Westminster, Md., Sarah McRoberts of Damascus, Md., Rachel Sentz of Felton, Pa., Amber Smith of Baltimore and Hannah Sommer of Taneytown, Md. 

The exhibition and reception are both free and open to the public. Rice Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, noon–4 p.m., and Saturday, noon–5 p.m. Call 410-857-2595 for more information. Visit for information about McDaniel College. 

About the Artists:

Suzannah Banister (Cockeysville, Md.) focuses on “opacity and color to represent different perceived identities” with “a mix of two dimensional and three dimensional works as a direct representation of the different dimensions of [her] identity.”

Anna Eckard (Westminster, Md.) utilizes multi-media and digital art to examine the change in identity politics in society, focusing on the concept of labels and communities. She said, “A young person may be more inclined to tell the world they’re a Slytherin, or an Aquarius, or a dog person before they consider aspects like class, race, or gender.”

Sarah McRoberts (Damascus, Md.) explains, “The world has changed a lot since the 1970s and 1980s, both technologically and culturally, yet the things left over from these times have always left me, a kid born in 1995, feeling most at home, and yearning with nostalgia for a time I never experienced in the first place.” McRoberts exhibits mixed media that examines the changes in music and technology from the 1970s and 1980s to today “using materials and technologies that actually existed during this time whenever possible,” such as vinyl records, videotapes and Rolodexes™. 

Rachel Sentz (Felton, Pa.) said, “My work is a clear testament to the struggle I am facing with identity internally, but also as an outward expression. The dichotomy between abstract representation and personal connection is apparent in my sporadic choice of media and subject matter. My aim is to provide viewers with a physical representation of the identity battle we are all faced with daily, while also showing how each component of our identities cohesively molds to create the larger whole of our identity as complex individuals surrounded by complex environments.”

Amber Smith (Baltimore) emphasizes the use of color in her artwork. She notes that color “is often rooted in its environmental, cultural and historical contexts” and can “invoke various behaviors,” as well as be used “for many cultural practices.” She said, “To explore the meanings and use of color, my art uses color psychology and theory, cultural and historical context, and individual perception.” 

Hannah Sommer (Taneytown, Md.) explores the notion of identity through “fragment[s] of what makes [her] identity,” indicating that these fragments “are not wholly self-specific and are universally shared.” Sommer said, “My work is a way of sharing myself indirectly with the world, but also a way to invite my viewer to feel connected and perhaps cause them to begin their own introspection.”

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Editor’s Note:  Select images are available for download

Additional information:  Requests for interpreters are welcome and can be made up to one week prior to the event by contacting Other accommodation requests can be directed to Conference Services at 410-857-2212.

McDaniel College, founded in 1867 and nationally recognized as one of 40 “Colleges That Change Lives,” is a four-year, independent college of the liberal arts and sciences offering more than 70 undergraduate programs of study, including dual and student-designed majors, plus 25 highly regarded graduate programs. Its personalized, interdisciplinary, global curriculum and student-faculty collaboration develop the unique potential in every student. A diverse, student-centered community of 1,600 undergraduates and 1,400 graduate students, McDaniel offers access to the resources of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and is the only American college with a European campus in Budapest, Hungary.

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