By Emily Tanner
Mallory Siebenneicher’s show, “Cannibal Café,” was met with shock and enthusiasm by viewers in Quigley’s Bachelor’s of Fine Arts gallery show. Mallory herself describes her art as weird- it’s quite realistic, but something is off. In portraying what she refers to as ‘luxury cannibalism,’ Siebenneicher says, “I’ve always loved the idea of eating people and commercializing humans in a way. It’s a funny spoof.”
“I was always good at art,” she explains, “I used to draw with my mom a lot when I was little.” In choosing Western, Siebenneicher made the conscious choice to go somewhere where she didn’t know anyone, “My confidence has grown so much since being here. I was so shy in high school, and now I’m the Art Director for Pathfinder Magazine and I’m leading people. I have grown so much.”
“Cannibal Café” particularly stood out for its interactive design— with a human pastry display case and chairs, it truly felt like a café. “My major is Graphic Design, and I love it, but I like working with my hands more, so I wanted to incorporate everything I could do instead of limiting myself to the computer.”
In satisfying her three loves of graphic design, sculpting, and marketing, Siebenneicher developed the show into three paintings, a bakery stand, background wallpaper, and three graphic design pieces. In Quigley, “Cannibal Cafe” was accompanied by small sculptures of fingers and human-baked goods. Siebenneicher’s wit and dark humor shone throughout.
The inspiration for “Cannibal Café” came to Siebenneicher in highschool: “I had a dream that my grandpa went in the freezer and got his hand from a meat tray then took a bite out of it. I made a painting of it in highschool.” The initial vision led to more parodies of human-based consumption and advertising.
Mayela Cardenas, Western’s graphic design professor, and Tina Butterfield, the painting professor, shaped Siebenneicher‘s concepts. However, sculpting teacher Jeff Irwin assisted with her biggest challenge- sculpting. “Coming into welding class as a woman is a little intimidating and you feel like you’re not supposed to be there; but he never made us feel that way at all and I appreciated that.”
Siebenneicher‘s mom is her biggest inspiration, but Western played a large role in her personal and artistic development. “Everyone in the art department feels like family with the classes being so small.” She has also developed a love for the marketing aspect of art.
“I’m really sick of people telling me I’m not going to get a job and need to find a rich husband to do art,” Siebenneicher tells, “There are so many jobs that people don’t think about.” Designers, marketing campaigns, and most corporations require graphic designers like Siebenneicher. She plans to work in graphic design and social media while freelance painting on the side.