Allison Wordes—Staff Writer
The usually sparse art gallery found itself crowded with spectators.
Some people wandered around and peered closely at the details on an oil painting, nose to canvas. Others restrained the urge to pick up the smooth ceramic teapots, and instead took a close-up picture. Spotlights blinded others who turned around too quickly. The festive chattering and dressed-up attendees livened the look of the artwork, as though it was excited to be noticed and talked about. Unoccupied as the gallery usually is, tonight there was the feel of a professional debut.
On Thursday, Feb. 22, an open house in the Dordt College Campus Center Art Gallery gave an opportunity for upperclassmen art students to present their work. Seven of Dordt’s junior artists hold the spotlight this month. The gallery will be up until March 18. Professor Matt Drissell hosted the event, in place of Professor Versluis who was not able to attend due to illness.
This year’s students included Jenna Stephens, Sarah Dykstra, Jonathan Fictorie, Tessa De Jong, Amber Ybema, Shauna Vander Kooi and Christina Chahyadinata. Three of the seven artists are off campus, which is unusual for this annual show. There are a variety of media being displayed, including prints, drawings, pottery, paintings and even a wooden sculpture.
Tessa De Jong is a senior graphic design major who is graduating before she can do a senior art show, so this was her opportunity to showcase an accumulation of her college work.
“I learned that catalogue design is where my passion is,” De Jong said.
She showed prints from a website she designed and catalogue spreads she created for an internship.
Amber Ybema, majoring in pre-architecture, presented her design work and some paintings. She hopes to further develop her design skills with Adobe Illustrator and InDesign before producing a senior show.
Jenna Stephens, fine arts/graphic design major and journalism minor, said she enjoyed tying her work to her Dutch heritage, with themes such as tulips and landscapes.
“I enjoy working on a large scale,” Stephens said.
Taking art classes in college was a large jump from barely taking any art in high school, and she challenges herself to try unusual things. Each new art class is as scary and exciting as the last.
“I don’t have to be a perfectionist,” she said.
She learned not to overthink, but instead work from gut reactions. For her senior show, she wants to focus in on one area, possibly printmaking.
Christina Chahyadinata, majoring in graphic design, also has a minor in psychology. She printed out all of her work to look like screenshots, in order to let viewers see how her workspace looks on a daily basis.
“My passion is calligraphy illustration,” Chahyadinata said.
She said her art influences all areas of her life. Another passion of hers is photography. In her senior art show, she hopes to include more tangible art, moving away from computer-generated pieces.
“I’m glad it’s a group,” Ybema said.
The students were together in Drissell’s drawing class, and some took graphic design classes together as well. They have been able to grow their skills at a similar pace.
“We’ve been together from the beginning,” De Jong said.