A collection of art created by students of Columbia Basin College will be on exhibit through June 11 in the Fred Esvelt Gallery on the Pasco campus.
The juried show features conventional and curious art mediums including paintings, sculpture, drawings, graphics, illustration, photography, jewelry, ceramics, fabric art and design.
Samantha Ray of Kennewick created an unusual sculpture, titled CommitmentPhobia, for the juried show. The piece symbolizes the epitome of the old ball-and-chain theory.
"I made it because commitment phobia is an issue I have been dealing with for a while," Ray said. "I almost ended up married at 19 (and) while engaged I hated it. I felt claustrophobic and wanted out of it so bad.
"I was too young and still had so much I wanted to do with my life. So I broke off the engagement and ended the relationship. That ended up being the right thing to do and a huge weight was lifted off my chest."
And there lies the significance of Ray's mixed media sculpture, which depicts a nude woman with a ball and chain dangling from her feet and her ring finger missing.
"Even though this all happened two years ago, I still have had a hard time fully committing to a relationship," Ray said. "You could say that I have been relationship-shy for a while. That is what inspired this piece.
"I wanted to convey the feeling of being trapped and willing to do almost anything to get out of a situation -- like cutting off your ring finger, which is attached to a ball and chain. I wanted anybody who was looking at it to apply it to any situation they are going through, not just marriage."
Jessica McCoy's Exuberated Apathy is another interesting piece in the exhibition, which is an oil painting featuring the head of a woman deep in thought. Using bold, powerful colors, McCoy's painting was mean to accentuate the absence of excitement on the human face.
"I wanted the piece to conflict itself through the medium and the subject matter," said Kennewick resident McCoy. "The harsh, rough texture and strokes of the paint show excitement and the subject matter's careless face shows its lack of interest in anything exciting.
"After my piece was finished I felt the loud colors and textures, along with the plain, rather somber face, created somewhat of a balance within the piece."
Her ultimate goal, she added, was to stir up thoughts, feelings and emotions to the viewer.
Pasco resident Erin Schmidt's Convergence: A Study in Urban Crawl is a 3-foot-by-4-foot abstract mosaic that represents the merging of the Snake and Yakima rivers with the Columbia River and the urban sprawl that has developed because of the area's vast resources.
"I have been astonished by the enormous population growth in the Tri-Cities area," Schmidt said. "The Tri-Cities metropolitan area is currently the fastest growing region in Washington state, and the vast sprawl of new housing developments clearly are a reflection of this growth."
The Juried Student Art Exhibition continues through June 11. Admission is free.