RIT Senior Illustration Exhibition at Gallery r runs April 23-May 4

School of Art students showcase their versatility in technique and concepts

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Rachel Betron

Portrait of Pharrell Williams

Singer Pharrell Williams is best known for wearing his infamous fedoras, and in an illustration designed by Rachel Betron, the seven-time Grammy-winning recording R&B-rapper, artist and producer is wearing his trademark headgear in bold red.

“A lot of people are familiar with his song ‘Happy,’ so I wanted to pick colors that are reminiscent of that song and I surrounded his profile in vivid yellow,” said Betron, a senior Bachelor of Fine Arts illustration candidate at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Betron joins a group of RIT students from the School of Art whose work will be on display at Gallery r’s Senior Illustration Exhibition from April 23 through May 4. The gallery will host an artist reception from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 2.

“My illustration project was to create a profile of a celebrity or someone well known in the media,” said Betron, who hails from Geneseo, N.Y. She plans to attend Seattle University for her master’s degree in student development administration after graduating from RIT this May.

“I am actually considering sending my illustration to Pharrell since I do know he likes to re-share fans’ artwork on his social media outlets.”

RIT students have created 109 pieces for this annual BFA showcase—ranging from traditional drawings and paintings to digitally rendered illustrations and three-dimensional projects.

“This year we have a larger than usual class,” said William Finewood, associate professor of illustration and coordinator of the illustration program at RIT. “As a result, the exhibition includes an incredibly wide range of individual styles and techniques.

“This is a must-see exhibition where visitors will discover an amazing collection of unique imagery displaying strong concepts, interesting design and imaginative use of color and materials.”

Gallery r sits adjacent to Lumiere Photo, home to Spectrum Gallery, and is just a few yards from the Memorial Art Gallery and Village Gate. The gallery space is under the helm of RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences and offers students the same challenges and expectations that confront established artists—focusing on diverse exhibitions, educational opportunities and collaborations with the public, other arts institutions and community groups.

Gallery r is handicapped accessible, features street and off-street parking, and is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. All exhibits are free and open to the public. For more information, call Zerbe Sodervick at 585-475-4977.