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Making the world a better place, one art piece at a time

BYUH visual art seniors say they hope their projects at the BFA Exhibition make a difference in the world

A woman stands in a colorful poster with a graphic of a person holding a heart.
Nozomi Miyata displays a poster for her website called RemeDi.
Photo by Moevai Tefan

Artwork was displayed on the walls of the McKay Auditorium Foyer and chatter filled the room as people walked around asking visual arts seniors about their work during the opening night of the Bachelor's of Fine Art Exhibition on April 9. BYUH art majors said their personal experiences and the things they love influenced their masterpieces.

Nozomi Miyata, a senior from Japan majoring in graphic design, said she designed a website called RemeDi. She said the idea of her artwork was focused on young Japanese women who are experiencing mental health challenges. Her artwork was inspired by one of her friends who experienced the harsh consequences of a mental illness. “I decided to make the website hoping that many young Japanese women would understand that it is okay to ask for somebody’s help,” she continued.

A woman stands next to a wall that says "The Earth in Black and White." A stand sits with a coloring book open on it.
Iris Player showcases her coloring and storybook titled "The Earth in Black and White."
Photo by Moevai Tefan

Iris Player, a senior from California majoring in graphic design, said her project was a children’s coloring and storybook titled “The Earth in Black and White.” “It talks about a robot who from the future travels through different biomes and ecosystems learning about and trying to bring the destroyed earth back to its full potential,” she said. The inspiration for her project was her love of robots, said Player. “I watch a lot of science fiction, but I also really love nature,” she added.

Player said she learned about how humans are harming the Earth while studying for her marine biology minor. “I am an artist. What can I do about it?… I can bring awareness. That is what I can do. So I just decided to create art of the things that I love - science fiction and nature,” she shared.

A man smiles and holds up a shaka in front of a series of posters.
Forrest Christensen shares his project, which is a series of posters and a booklet raising awareness for people who are homeless.
Photo by Moevai Tefan

Forrest Christensen, a senior from Alaska majoring in graphic design, said his project is titled “Voices Unheard.” He said growing up in his hometown, he was surrounded by many homeless people. “Being there, I never really knew how I could contribute or help out,” he said. Christensen said when he started at BYU–Hawaii, he saw a similar situation in Hawaii. “That kind of sparked the interest in me,” he continued. “I want to do something to contribute and help out with the homelessness issue here.”

Christensen said part of his research consisted of gathering lots data. “I went and talked with 100 homeless people here on the island, hearing their insights, their feedback, their backgrounds, and researching the common issues they face every day and finding solutions we can use moving forward,” he shared. Christensen said his research found what is needed is increased community support to provide mental services, education and employment programs, as well as shelter and housing initiatives.