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  • Emelia Dennis '20
  • Charity
  • 2020
  • Mixed media
  • 25.5 x 19 inches
  • Windgate Museum of Art Collection

Emelia Dennis came to Hendrix to play on the golf team, but soon fell in love with its Art Department. After taking Beginning Drawing during her first semester with Professor Melissa Gill, she decided to take as many Art and Art History courses as possible. She attended lectures and workshops from visiting artists and helped host a juried exhibition during her senior year.

Dennis created Charity for her senior thesis project, an exploration of morality in its many forms. Her collages combine personal experience and digitally created symbols to depict her discovery of morality.

This particular work references charity, a theological virtue Dennis learned through her Catholic upbringing. While many people understand charity as the donation of money, Dennis expands the virtue to include organ donation. She remembers registering as an organ donor when first getting her driver’s license and still considers this an extremely important life decision.

Dennis’s bold black and white spaces signify the black and white nature of moral reality. She suggests morals cannot reside within a gray area; one either lives morally or immorally. The work also references black ink tattooing, introducing the idea of permanence to her composition.

Dennis graduated in 2020 with a B.A. in Studio Art with a Painting emphasis. She currently lives in Indianapolis and hopes to join its community of artists once the coronavirus pandemic subsides. She continues to utilize her knowledge of art techniques and art marketing, and hopes to eventually open her own gallery.