Student Artist Spotlight: Sophia Chovanes

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Sophia Chovanes is a so-called “super” senior art education major at Shippensburg University. She currently has work displayed in the Brindle and Kauffman galleries in the Huber Art Center on campus. 

In the Brindle Gallery, a collection of pieces that Chovanes has worked on throughout her time at Shippensburg are on display. Chovanes explains that some of the pieces are from 2019, her first year at Shippensburg. 

One graphite drawing portrays a scene from behind a windowsill. Chovanes recalls the assignment’s prompt as, “how lockdown impacted you.” The drawing, to her, represents the view from her bedroom window as the pandemic shut down the world around her. 

Another piece in the Brindle Gallery is a sculpture titled, “Mother.” The sculpture, made with dolls and decorated with flowers, stands out among the drawings and paintings. 

Chovanes says she likes the idea of flowers and femininity being contrasted by a set of creepy dolls. The assignment’s prompt, she explained, was to turn a typical children’s toy into something very different. The sculpture looks like it was inspired by the movie “Midsommar,” but Chovanes says she was not thinking about the movie when she created the piece. 

The Kauffman Gallery showcases five pen-and-ink drawings by Chovanes that collectively tell a story of her childhood. Chovanes said she wanted the project to “look like memories.” 

The drawings are titled, “2007,” “2009,” “2011,” “2013” and “2015.” Each drawing depicts a place that was important to Chovanes as she grew up. Together, the pieces create an aura of “walking through someone’s childhood,” as Chovanes describes. 

Telling a story through artwork is something Chovanes aspires to do. Chovanes says that illustrating children’s books aligns with her goals and skillset. She thinks using art to communicate a story “is one of the coolest things you can do with it.” 

The storytelling nature of artwork was introduced to Chovanes during weekly trips to the library with her mother as Chovanes grew up. Chovanes says she was always drawn to the pictures in graphic novels and how they told a story.

Chovanes also attributes her love of artwork to her father. She explained that he taught art classes for high school and community college students and worked as a police sketch artist. Her father also drew comic strips for newspapers. 

“I’ve always had a very artistic influence from him,” Chovanes said. 

After two more semesters of general education courses and student teaching, Chovanes will graduate next December with the goal of becoming an elementary art teacher. 

You can view Chovanes’ work in the Brindle and Kauffman galleries until Dec. 13. 


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