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Updated 3:00 PM May 2, 2006




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Class of '06: Art student hopes work will inspire discussion

It is her passion. As a graduating senior from the School of Art & Design (A&D), Lauren Marie Hughes has found a way to integrate her faith with her art.
(Photo courtesy Lauren Marie Hughes)

"I want to use art as an outreach," Hughes says. "I want people to think and talk about issues of faith."

Combining studies in ceramics and graphic design with her outreach mission, Hughes has created as her final academic project the Stations of the Cross in framed bold-colored ceramics. The centerpiece for each of the 14 stations in the Passion of the Christ represent Pope John Paul's alternative stations, which he based on specific scriptural references. The traditional stations that begin with Jesus being condemned to die and end with the death on the cross are represented in the border of each 22' x 24' piece.

Hughes averaged about 50 hours a week from the beginning of January working on this last project.

"Some weeks I worked 70 hours including class time," she says. And this was after she had finalized her designs in December and performed color tests on the glazes before winter break.

A graduate of Lake Orion High School—where Hughes says she was introduced to and trained in major aspects of clay—she knew when coming to U-M that she wanted to further her skills and study in that medium. Working with Professor Georgette Zerbes of A&D gave her that opportunity.

As a member of the first graduating class to go through the school's new curriculum, Hughes says she liked the focus that allowed her to try various hands-on work even though she came to U-M with a particular medium in mind.

Hughes has made time each semester to participate in the University work-study program and has volunteered at St. Mary's Student Parish as a retreat leader. At the parish she met and learned from Sister Catherine Morgan, who has past experience working with artists. Hughes also found inspiration and support for her work from Michael Kapetan, former lecturer in A&D, who is renowned across the country for his ecclesiastical art.

The next step for Hughes—finding a position in which she can put her graphic design skills to work.

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