Northwestern art gallery

Allison Wordes—Staff Writer 

Large windows shed a slab of light onto the art gallery floor, filling up the other three-quarters of the white space inside. Scattered around the room, student art brightens up corners and covers the walls.

This year’s Dordt/Northwestern art show was held at Northwestern College in Orange City, in the TePaske Gallery.

Dordt freshman Danikka Jackson was a contestant for this year’s juries. Her artwork was selected to be shown in the gallery, amongst an ample selection of other students’ work from both schools.

“I was just totally thrilled that they chose my art!” said Jackson. As a freshman who has not taken any art classes yet at Dordt, she felt honored to be picked for the gallery. Three out of four of her pieces got in—two paintings and one drawing.

“It’s really encouraging,” said Jackson. She wants to potentially use her artistic gifts for missions in the future.

She describes her style as “idealized realistic.” Her inspiration is nature, horses, and book illustrations.

Six jurors looked at the artwork – three from Dordt and three from Northwestern. Lydia Van Wingerden, one of this year’s jurors, said it was interesting to see the differences between the work from the two schools.

“All the work was well done,” Van Wingerden said.

The jurors look for what catches the eye–unique compositions or unusual angles. About 20-25 pieces are usually selected from each college, with the total number of works settling somewhere around 50 each year. Interesting pieces chosen this year included some Northwestern students’ self-portraits.

The themes from Dordt art this year were black-and-white drawings and photography.

Since 1999, this gallery has been an opportunity for students to get their work out and seen by students from both schools. Susan Vangeest—a graduate from Northwestern who later taught at Dordt—started the exhibit as an opportunity for both colleges to come together.

“The contact we have between the two institutions comes through in this show,” said Dordt Art professor David Versluis, one of those who keep a watchful eye over the entire process. While the art faculty encourages submissions and answers questions, the jurying and participation is primarily in the hands of the students.

“Overall, I am pleased with the quality of the work,” said Versluis. He was satisfied with the variety that Dordt’s students brought to the table and with the choices the jurors made.

Jackson said entering was worthwhile, and would advise anyone—even if they aren’t in any art classes—who just likes creating art to try their hand at the contest.

“Just go for it,” Jackson said. “You never know!”

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