Hannah DeVries, Staff Writer
Art. It surrounds us as we walk through the campus center and pause in the gallery by the Eckhart Lounge. Here a display of artwork is displayed as a part of the Senior Art Show. This show is not just for the artist and artwork. There is more here than meets the eye.
The show on display in the Campus Center gallery is the final show in a series of three graduating-senior art exhibits. It is very unique. Professor Jake Van Wyk, coordinator of the show, explains why.
“It’s the first exhibit in a newly adopted policy allowing students to apply for a special exhibit,” said Van Wyk. With approval from the department, students can now showcase several pieces of work that together have a specific theme. Which is exactly what this year’s seniors have done.
Senior Michelle Stam, an Art Graphic Design major, is showcasing her sculpture. When asked about what she was hoping to portray through her work, Stam replied, “My sculptural installation deals with relationships between people and how we view others. Each figure was designed to represent people who we may look down on, ignore, or not wish to deal with.”
“Rarely have students produced a thematic and comprehensive exhibit of new work in their last semester for the exhibit,” said Van Wyk. “This show intertwines themes of human experience.” This show’s uniqueness also comes from a combination of techniques–sculptural assemblage, photography, graphic design, and digital software–used to portray a theme.
When asked what kind of impact she was hoping her art would have on her viewers, Stam said, “I would love for them to change the way they view people they think are different than themselves just because they’ve never made the effort to get to know them.”
“My faith and beliefs are very important to me, and I cannot disconnect them from my artwork–and I would not want to,” said Stam.
Other artists who have displayed artwork in the Campus Center say that there is more beneath the surface of their work. Carrie Goff, a Fine Arts Graphic Design major, said that her work was about stories. She hopes that when people observe it they will “see a connection with their world in a different light, and to be filled with wonder about all the different stories that are behind a subject.”
Annemarie Osinga, an Art Graphic Design major, commented that most of her inspiration comes from the object she focuses on in her work. Instead of simply recreating the object, she creates a scene, a story, and even a personality around it.
“All these pieces make this character–people don’t have to ask, they can look at this character and know who it is,” Osinga said.
Even the location where the art takes place has an effect on the art. “We are at a place where everyone is taking pictures of the same people, but we make each picture unique to ourselves,” Osinga commented. “We are each able to create unique photography even though it’s of the same thing.”
While this is the last series in the Senior Art Show, “a wrap-up ‘super show,’ a combination of all ten senior’s work will be on display during exam week and through commencement.