Student Research

Senior Project

Every Alleghenian completes a Senior Project in his or her major field—a significant piece of original research or creative work that demonstrates to employers and graduate schools the ability to complete a major assignment, to work independently, to analyze and synthesize information, and to write and speak persuasively. Studio art majors create a body of work around a central idea or theme; they then present their work professionally in the galleries. Art history majors, who take two semesters to carry out their projects, often develop interdisciplinary research interests. Recent combinations have included studio art and environmental science, art history and English, and studio art and biology.

Recent Senior Projects, Studio Art

  • “Redundant Consumption: The Use of New Genre Public Art to Bring Awareness on Paper Use at
    Allegheny College”
  • “The Yin and Yang of Fungal Ecology: An Aesthetic and Scientific Study of Antibiotic Production and Resistance of Monascus purpureus and Cercospora kikuchii,” an investigation of the beauty and danger evident in the natural world (art/biology double major)
  • A series of pastel drawings of dogs awaiting adoption from the Crawford County Humane Society that addressed issues of humanity
  • “Amazing Creeks,” an educational activity and coloring book designed to educate elementary school children about the importance of creeks in community history (art/environmental science double major)
  • “The Hug-It, Punch-It Project,” interactive wall-mounted sculptures installed in public spaces, including an elementary school and a factory
  • “Variation on the Smile,” an investigation into the ambiguous and complicated role that the smile plays in identity and social exchanges; included photography and video installations.

Recent Senior Projects, Art History

  • “Season of Mists: The Graphic Novels of Neil Gaiman”
  • “ ‘Accentuated by a Shower of Gold’: Exploring Titioan’s Danae as an Ideal Beauty”
  • “An Investigation of Androgyny in Paul Gauguin’s Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?”
  • “Divina Sapeinza and Divina Providenza and Their Importance in a Baroque Theoretical Art Debate in the Accademia di San Luca”
  • “Analysis of the Roman Tibi Soli Sealstone”
  • “The Life and Art of Harriet Glazier”

Independent Study

This program allows students to study a subject of special interest in-depth. The work may be done off campus (for example, in Washington, D.C. or Philadelphia) or may be done on campus with Allegheny faculty. Recent independent projects:

  • “The Dialogue in Sculpture: Male vs. Female Perspectives on Slavery, 1851-1913”
  • Web design for the Raymond Shafer, Hulmer Project, and the Trees of Allegheny websites
  • “History of Women Photographers”

Selected Student Achievements

  • Work included in National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts undergraduate juried show. Exhibit traveled from Indianapolis to China.
  • Photographs published in The Best of College Photography Annual (from a contest that routinely draws more than 26,000 entries).
  • “Criticism of the 1950s and the Work of Helen Frankenthaler,” a paper presented at a professional symposium at Slippery Rock University.
  • “(In) Between Places,” an essay on new German photography, published in PhotoPaper.
  • Works exhibited in Erie Art Museum’s Annual Spring Show.
  • Printmaking internship at the Lower East Side Printshop, New York City.
  • Graduate awarded an internship at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
  • Printmaking students invited to display their work at the Southern Graphics Council National Conference.