Student art showcased at Albrecht-Kemper museum

Elicia Aceves, junior painting major, explains her process, yesterday in King Hall, of completing two art pieces that were selected to show at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph, Missouri. The pieces feature her two siblings.

Elicia Aceves, junior painting major, will have two of her paintings featured in a student show at Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph, Missouri. 

“I started painting my freshman year of high school after moving to a new state and used it as outlet to express my emotions,” Aceves said. “It was scary and hard being the new kid and art became my coping mechanism. After painting for a while, I just fell in love with it and decided to keep practicing throughout the years.”

The museum is housed in a historic home and hold artwork from artists like Mary Cassatt, Rembrandt Peale, Thomas Hart Benton and Wayne Theibaud, according to

Aceves said she had an “amazing teacher” during freshman year who pushed her and helped her realized her full potential. When she enrolled in ESU, Elicia was majoring in both painting and pre-med, with plans of attending medical school.

“It wasn’t until last semester that I decided to drop pre-med and do painting as my only major study, now with plans of going to grad school for painting,” Aceves said. “I decided art is something I am much more passionate about and I enjoy being able to voice my opinions to a larger audience through my pieces.” 

Her pieces are presented as a diptych, so they go together side by side to make a single piece. There is actually a third piece as well, making it a triptych, but it wasn’t finished in time for the submission.

“The piece is titled Pick Your Poison and is important to me for a variety of reasons,” Aceves said. “The models shown are my siblings, so it has a special place in my heart based on that alone. I enjoy painting people that are close to me rather than random models because it makes it more personal for me, encouraging me to push myself further and work harder.”

The subjects are painted in a thick colored substance with their eyes closed and an overall peaceful look on their face, Aceves said. The subject’s overall state is up to the viewer’s interpretation. 

“I enjoy the contrast of the questionable background with such a calm focus point, it makes the viewer really get in closer and think about what it means,” Aceves said. “I think my paintings were chosen because of my good craftsmanship and overall concept. I spent at least 30 hours on each individual canvas trying to capture all of the details in the face and hair to make it look as realistic as possible.” 

The Albrecht-Kemper Mu-seum of Art will be holding an opening reception at 5 p.m. April 12 at the museum, according to the website.

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