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art major

I attended Fontbonne’s gallery opening last night. Mounted on the walls was Muhammad Alhawagri’s “Occurrences [reduced]”, a brilliant series of black-and-white photographs that aimed to capture the essence of everyday objects. While art is most often subjective, and Alhawagri’s work isn’t exactly an exception, there is comfort in knowing that perhaps these objects and subjects are things that everyone has encountered in their everyday lives. While each individual looks at the painting and finds their own meaning in it, this is indisputable: we are familiar with the object/subject, even though we don’t quite know what it is.

I was lucky enough to be accompanied by my sister and my father, who were eager to experience a Fontbonne gallery opening, and a few of my friends–fellow Fontbonnians. As we strolled through the gallery, taking time to access each photograph, we shared our insights and contemplated–just what was the object portrayed in the photograph? Laughingly, we scolded ourselves for wanting to know more about the abstracted object. In trying to decipher the contents of each work, we realized that maybe that was the point–the essence of the photographs didn’t rely on what the subject was, they relied on the lines, shapes, and shadows created by the subject. What you were left with was something else entirely.

The photographs succeeded in prompting me to appreciate the ordinary, to explore and examine something more closely that I had maybe never looked twice at. The next time I’m struggling to find inspiration, I’ll think about Occurrences [reduced].

Muhammad Alhawagri is self-taught, which makes it all the more impressive. He has shown work all over St. Louis. Here is a link to his website if you want explore further:

You should definitely make your way to the art gallery. The exhibition is open until March 24th, so you have plenty of time to see Alhawagri’s work, and form your own theory 🙂

I highly recommend attending any showings that you can. Even if you’re not an art major, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the experience. Grab a couple of friends, indulge in some refreshments, and share your opinions.


Let the blogging begin!
Hello all! My name is Lauren and I’m a junior here at Fontbonne. I’m an art major with a graphic design focus–actually, now it’s called Applied Design! The graphic design program was changed quite recently to include more computer-based classes. So far, it’s been an adventure.

I have some big plans for my blog posts this semester! As an art major, there are a lot of ups and downs. I’ve learned so much about art this past year. Every artist has a different philosophy when it comes to creating and appreciating art. Everyone has their own aesthetic and their own set of beliefs. Thanks to Fontbonne, I have a wonderful group of people surrounding me. With my major, I get to express myself, but there are some things you should know if you are an art student (or thinking about it!) I hope to shed some light on what the Fine Arts community is like, and what it means to be an artist. As always, I am still learning–keep that in mind!

I hope to touch on a lot of different subjects throughout the semester, from how to diffuse “artist’s block” and manage stress, to getting involved in the art community both on campus and off! Not only does Fontbonne offer a lot of great lectures and gallery openings, so does St. Louis! (And it goes beyond the St. Louis Art Museum!)

I can’t wait to share with you my experiences, and the experiences of my peers as we navigate what it means to be an art major. Stay tuned for more.


When I began my first semester here at Fontbonne this spring I knew that I was going to learn a lot. With three studio art classes and one modern art history class, how could I not? The thing that surprised me the most was how much I’ve learned in my modern art history class. In general I don’t care for most modern art. I know that art is generally subjective, and everyone likes different things, but I admit I wasn’t looking forward to being visually assaulted by elongated figures, arbitrary color, and abstractions.

The surprising thing was the information behind the art that my professor supplied to us. Historically, art has been influenced by society, technology, politics, religion, etc. Modern art is no exception to these influences. I learned that social upheaval, the Industrial Revolution, and both world wars had a huge impact on the art being produced at the turn of the century. Logically, this all made sense to me, but to see the visual progression of this process was something else entirely. The artists of this time period were literally trying to change the world around them through their art; they had a message they wanted to impart to the general public and they did so fearlessly. Their spirit and passion is something to be admired. Learning each artists’ story and seeing the resulting work has been a fascinating journey and I’m very grateful to my professor for each lesson.


This is my very first semester at Fontbonne and, honestly, I had hopes of meeting new people and making some new friends. I definitely wasn’t prepared for what I found here! As an art major I have found that it is a small community unto itself here. Many of my classmates are in several of my classes and we all seem to inspire and encourage one another. One classmate in particular has not only inspired me, but has also given support without even being asked. Alicia has inspired me in class with her determination in every project she under takes. There is a flare and passion to her work that is always a joy to see. She’s also very encouraging of others, giving her honest opinion, and constructive feed back. She’s also been kind and supportive outside of the classroom. She’s helped me with studying for tests and also taking the time to sit and chat during one particularly stressful week. She’s been a huge inspiration and so supportive, I feel grateful to call her my friend.


Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.