My BFA exhibition, Genus, has originated through my experience gained through working in Housing and Residence Life for three years at the University of Idaho. While I worked, I utilized social theory to mentor and support residents, and Resident Assistants that had piqued my interest in why developing individuals exhibit the behaviors that they do during times of adaptation in their lives. Mentoring gave me a lot of opportunities to see individuals showcasing their best and worst behaviors, and how to guide and further hone their social and professional skills.
I chose animals to exemplify these behaviors I have seen because I want my audience to see that the negative and positive aspects that compose our individual humanity can be caught in glimpses in other living creatures like us. As I considered my college experience, I decided to focus on students coming to college and all the obstacles they encounter and learn through their own experience of transition to being on their own in their new environment. So, to explore this I’m using animals as an allegory for students in their college experience based on my personal and professional experience with the subject. I present these archetypal characters for my show, Genus, at different stages of development that a typical, new college student might experience based on those I’ve helped mentor, and that they may be able to exist in a college dormitory, or in an RA’s room.