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Patterns in the Social Fabric

The College’s pride in Danielle Singer becoming its first student to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art was evident in the faculty and staff who attended her Capstone presentation and the opening reception for her exhibit, “Coming Together.” Danielle showed that she also understood the significance of the achievement by agreeing to open her talk to the entire community.  

But as important as the milestone was for the College, Danielle’s work was the rightful focal point of the day. The pieces in “Coming Together” strive to make sense out of the senselessness of terrorism by demonstrating that the resulting impact on a community ends up being the opposite of what the attackers may have intended.

“I believe terrorism is very much a double-edged sword because no matter how you view it there is always a cloud of indecency surrounding it, but my hope is to show what can emerge can be something much more powerful, positive, and beautiful than if the act of terrorism had never occurred,” Singer wrote in the artist statement accompanying her exhibit.

During the presentation, Singer referenced the unfortunate circumstance of having too many attacks to choose from when explaining why the works in “Coming Together” are based on the bombings of Coptic Christian Churches in Egypt and Manchester Arena in England. The disparity between the settings (churches and concert halls) and targeted populations (worshippers and entertainment-seekers) served as a starting point for her to identify items and symbols that could be combined into patterns on wallpaper. Whether comprised of ticket stubs and tea lights, or shrapnel and sarcophagi, the pieces Singer has created effectively portray the comparative emotions experienced within the respective communities to both the tragedies and their aftermath.

Patterns have intrigued Singer for as long as she can recall, and she told the audience at the Capstone presentation that she hopes her bachelor’s degree puts her on the path toward graduate school and, ultimately, a career in fabric design. The exhibit also included previous wallpapers she designed based on objects like candy and perfume bottles. But in her statement she writes about the ambitious idea of making patterns like the ones she created for “Coming Together” that are more than just decorative.

“Wallpaper makes a statement because people are immediately drawn to it and it has the ability to set the tone for a room,” wrote Singer. “If you have bright and cheerful wallpaper it can evoke that mood. My wallpaper represents unity, community, and the ability to overcome adversity.”

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