Senior art show opens

For seniors, graduation means looking forward to the future and reflecting on the past. For art majors, that process culminates in the Senior Art Show, an opportunity for Whitworth’s graduating art students to showcase the skills and point of view they have developed during their time in the program. The 2015 graduating class of Whitworth’s art program is comprised of nine students: Jessica Banzet, Katie Bergmann, Linnea Goold, Melissa Helgeson, Kelsey Herman, Jasmine Pallwitz, Jorie Rehnberg, Ashton Skinner and Tayler Wood. The artists explore a variety of media in the gallery show. Photographs, paintings, graphic designs, charcoal drawings and sculptural installations by each senior artist can be seen.

The current senior class contains students who began in other majors—sociology, psychology, Spanish and communication, to name a few—that have found that art encompasses a wide variety of ideas and disciplines. The students interviewed all discussed the ways in which their art educations have challenged and inspired them.

Skinner paints self-portraiture that explores reflection and identity.

“I expected to learn technique, the craft, the more face-value skills of making paintings and making drawings, but I’ve had a few teachers and mentors here that have taught me how to think differently and taught me how to go on rabbit trails when you are interested in something and explore it, and that’s been super exciting because I’ve really learned how to follow my curiosity … and we have learned critical and analytical skills here that I wouldn’t  have learned in any other major here,” Skinner said.

Other art students agree that Whitworth offers a unique perspective in the field.

“Whitworth emphasizes worldview and I feel like ... the art department is the best place I could have been to really widen that [idea] or challenge me,” Herman said.

Herman’s experimental 3D yarn sculpture is meant to challenge viewers’ perceptions of the way common materials are viewed.

Apart from the traditional art classes expected in this program, some students have also had the opportunity to take their education into the real world with community-based programs. This semester, Jasmine Pallwitz worked at Salem Lutheran Church in an internship that allowed her to use her love of art to help serve the Spokane community.

Pallwitz is a painter, focusing on works that work to bring attention to the world through reflecting cultural inequalities.

“For me, I’m a very faith-based person, and so that is very important to me as well as my art, so I’m always thinking about ways to integrate the two,” Pallwitz said. “It’s actually made me more passionate in my desire to help people, to serve in whatever way I can … [art] can be used a lot in community development and as a way to spread a message of change.”

After graduation, Whitworth’s art students have varied plans that include graduate study, volunteer work and community building. Herman’s, Skinner’s and Pallwitz’s work can be seen at the show, now open in the Bryan Oliver Gallery at the Lied Art Center.

Kelli Hennessey

Staff Writer

Artist Spotlight: Linnea Goold glows

Senior Linnea Goold did not come to Whitworth intending to be an artist. Rather, it was something that she fell into. “I actually didn’t do any art before college,” Goold said. “I started as a psych major, and then I took one art class my first semester here … I’m still very involved in the psychology department; I would really like to go into art therapy.”

Goold said she believes that art and psychology have strong ties and sees art as an important resource to use in the field of psychology. Her own pieces reflect the way that art can influence the feelings of both the artist and the viewer. The piece she is working on now, which will be featured in her senior show this week, is a large installation that involves using string to web found car doors into a web-like structure, was inspired by recurring dreams she had as a child.

“That’s kind of where this all stemmed from … I love seeing how art can psychologically impact me, and others, so I wanted to see what it would be like to work through those dreams in this way,” Goold said.

Although this particular work is based on her dreams, Goold wants viewers to be able to take their own impressions from the piece. Goold wants her art to be accessible and interpretive, so even when the pieces have personal histories relevant to her life, she wants viewers to take from the piece their own interpretations, she said.

“It’s not all about me,” she said.

Goold plans on taking her passions for art and psychology into the community and working as an art therapist, though she does also want to explore participating in gallery shows at some point. She is interested primarily in working with youth and adolescents. She believes that art has the power to help individuals overcome trauma and wants to participate in that process.

“I also have become a lot more interested in the past year in prevention and how art can be used to help people handle emotions in a different way or express themselves in a more healthy way,” Goold says.

Though she has largely worked with organic materials such as branches or tumbleweeds in her other pieces, Goold experiments with a variety of objects, such as the car doors in her current work.

“I do like found objects; I like things that have a history to them,” Goold said.

Though now her preferred media are sculpture and installation work, Goold did not find her love for it initially. It was not until halfway through her studies that she became interested in the work. Initially, Goold said, she was under the common misconception that art majors should be painters and illustrators. Taking a class in three-dimensional design, however, drew her to sculpture and other forms of three-dimensional design.

“Three-dimensional art just really comes to life for me, and I love taking something in my head and seeing it turn into something big and three-dimensional in the real world,” Goold said.

Her current installation, which incorporates several car doors borrowed from a local junkyard and thousands of feet of string, has been something that Goold has been planning for two years. She said that lecturer Rob Fifield has told her that art is about posing a problem and fixing it, and she agrees. For this project, she faces the challenge of broken string and how to mount heavy metal doors, temporarily, to gallery walls.

That is part of what draws her to art—the ability to work through challenges and grow from the process. By combining her passion of art with love of psychology, Goold hopes to help others work through their personal challenges through exploring the power art holds.

The senior art show featuring Goold, as well as several other graduating art majors, opens on Tuesday, April 14 in the Bryan Oliver Gallery in the Lied Art Center and will close on May 16.

Kelli Hennessey

Staff Writer

Artist Spotlight: Kyler Lacey re-creates treasures

Senior English major Kyler Lacey finds beauty in what others seek to throw away. He is passionate about writing, and the art of antique restoration and the many challenges and wonders that arise from that process. Lacey restores antique, collectable and vintage items as an art form, taking items that are “dirty, greasy and damaged” and making them “restored, shiny, polished and beautiful,” Lacey said.

“I’m interested in antiques and old things because there’s something special about them and their history,” Lacey said.

Lacey’s fascination with restoring old items as an art form comes from his first typewriter purchase: a vintage 1971 Smith-Corona Galaxie Twelve.

He bought the typewriter to use for his writing and still uses it to type important projects. He likes using a typewriter instead of a computer because he can’t spell check, delete words or move content. It’s a more thorough process because he has to think harder and be more intentional with what he writes, Lacey said.

Lacey restores, re-imagines and sells old typewriters, televisions, radios and other items. He redoes the paint, interior, exterior and any electric wiring by himself. He enjoys modernizing the things he works on to make them compatible with modern technologies and atmospheres.

“I love finding it: going into a packed garage, climbing over things and finding that one treasure,” Lacey said.

Once he finds an item, he researches it, learns about it and then fixes it. He said that a big part of fixing it is that he gets to use it.

“There’s people who say what I’m doing is work, not art. It’s different than what most people would consider as art,” Lacey said.

One way that Lacey’s restoration distinguishes itself as an art form and not just work is that he isn’t in it for the money; he enjoys the process of taking something broken and making it whole again. Since his focus is on his artistry and not about making lots of money, he charges very little over the cost of what he pays for the items he sells, just enough to buy supplies for his next project.

Lacey’s love of writing stems from when he was seven years old. He was unsatisfied with the lack of a third Toy Story so he decided to write one himself. The plot revolved around Andy and his mom and sister flying somewhere with Buzz Light Year and Woody, opening up a window in the plane, and having the toys fall out into the middle of nowhere to be taken home by a family there.

His love of writing and passion for restoration come together in his inspiration. When Lacey finds an antique, he is often inspired by its past. He writes historical fiction based on items he’s found, placing his characters and his writing back in a different time in the past.

Lacey said that one of the most special things about antiques is that even after 100 years they can still be made to work in some way that brings joy to the people who get to use them. He said that he wonders if the products produced today will work in 100 years.

Emily Goodell

Staff Writer

Faculty art exhibit opens to students and community

On Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. in the Bryan Oliver Gallery of the Lied Center for the Visual Arts, the 2014 Whitworth Faculty Exhibition entitled “Parole,” opened for students to walk through. “It’s cool that professors can show their art and students can see it. We can get an understanding of who they are outside of the classroom,” senior Amanda Blankenship said.

At 6:30 p.m., students and faculty gathered in the center of the gallery so each professor could explain their art and students could ask questions or comment on them. Professors strongly encouraged students to comment and even critique their pieces, since professors are often the ones who do the critiquing in the classroom. However, the discussion was still mainly driven by conversation between the professors.

A piece called “Nightie” by professor Katie Creyts was a night gown sewn out of handkerchiefs, in the form of a straight jacket. She explained the piece as a possible representation of being in love with your own sorrow and the soft material representing the ease of breaking free of that. During the discussion, a student perceived the resemblance of the piece to the stereotypical housewife and how she may feel trapped in her duties and expectations as a mother and wife.

Another student recognized the contrast between the cheerfulness of the patterns on the handkerchiefs and the sadness of its overall structure.

From the beginning of the discussion, professor Gordon Wilson stated the importance of responding to art and how each person’s response will differ from one another. Kirk Hirota said that when he took the photographs that were being displayed, his perspective was to capture the moment as best he could. In his piece, “Trondheim Cathedral, Norway”, Meredith Shimizu pointed out how one of the architectural structures appeared to be looking down on a woman in a robe. A student pointed out the contrast in how all the architectural structures in robes were males and the person being photographed was a female in a robe.

Many students were drawn to three pieces of oil on canvas, by professor Robert Fifield, who is in the middle of his second year at Whitworth. In the most basic terms, they were paintings of circles in different positions with different colors.

But the underlying message is much more expansive. His inspiration included his grandma, composition theory, bending the color spectrum of Newton’s color theory, Manifest Destiny, satellites, Thomas Jefferson, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and many more concepts, he said.

“If you want to look at where it all started, go on Google Earth and search the Ogallala aquifer in Nebraska or the fields in Middle Eastern places such as Saudi Arabia. They have circular fields that produce food in places where agriculture shouldn’t exist because they are such arid regions. The global homogeneity of agricultural land and food,” Fifield said.

Hope Barnes | Photographer

Fifield has dedicated hours and hours to the pieces since May and a few pieces in the series are not yet finished he said.

“The most important part of these pieces is that they’re super pretty to look at. I can talk until someone falls asleep, but they won’t fall asleep while looking at them,” Fifield said.

Another interesting piece was a mixed-media piece, entitled “Transitions”, created by Jeff Huston. There was a background projection of uniform suburbs houses, figures made of iron and standing on wooden carts, that were tied with rope to a block of wood that held three blades. His focus was on the concept of contemporary masculinity that involves being different from the conformity implicated in society, and connecting with others and the earth in the presence of harsh figures that we are forced to be connected to, he said.

The faculty exhibit will be showing until Jan. 30. For more information, contact 509-777-3258.

Rachelle Robley

Staff Writer

Artist Spotlight: Christa Prentiss seeks depth

Art is not meant to be kept in a box; it should flow into different aspects of life as well. A prime example of this artistic way of thinking, senior Christa Prentiss infuses her art into everything she does in subtle and effective ways. Prentiss is on the 2D art track with a focus on oil painting. Currently, she is working on a series of pieces for her 400-level oil class, she said.

“It’s largely a lot of personal work,” Prentiss said, “We choose a theme and create pieces within that theme.”

Prentiss places a large emphasis on the human figure in much of her work, which she describes as realism.

“I see what I want to do in my mind when I’m given an idea,” Prentiss said, in regard to her creative process. After her initial inspiration, Prentiss does many concept sketches in order to fully form her idea.

“Usually I just go for it and play with the idea as I’m working on it. It’s a very process-oriented approach to art,” Prentiss said.

Using this method, Prentiss has created many pieces she is proud of, including a recent oil painting featuring birds and glass bottles

In addition to studying 2D art at Whitworth, Prentiss maintains a busy extracurricular schedule. She has an illustration job, takes a painting class at another college and often works on personal projects.

However, being an artist is not Prentiss’ only career focus.

Prentiss is also studying pre-medicine. While art and medicine may seem to be polar opposites to many people, to Prentiss they are complementary disciplines.

Her heavy focus on the human figure in her oil paintings and her current illustration job have proven to be useful in her pre-medicine studies, because she is able to create medical illustrations, Prentiss said.

“Art is how I see things, for example, I illustrate things I learn in class because it helps me understand,” Prentiss said. In the medical field, it is essential to be able to visualize the process, especially during surgery and plastics, Prentiss said.

Andrew Rollins | Photographer

Her visualization and illustration methods transfer well to the medical field, which is generally thought to be based mostly on science and math.

“[Art] adds life and depth to our culture--it’s not dry. People for the most part are really visual, and so art plays into a fundamental aspect of being human,” Prentiss said.

Because of this reason, art is able to permeate every aspect of life and be in some way applicable to the majority of career choices.

“Don’t let someone else determine what your interest in art is,” Prentiss said, as advice to aspiring artists or those who wish to incorporate art into their various separate careers or activities.

Each person’s artistic style is unique and through it, everyone finds their own way to express themselves, because “art connects with people in a way other things cannot,” Prentiss said.

“I’ll use art in whatever my career ends up being,” Prentiss said. As Prentiss does, it is important to incorporate art and creativity into our pursuits, to remain connected and cultivated people.

 

Courtney Murphy

Staff Writer

DIY: Students transform unusual materials into art

Art ned not be formal or traditional; it can come from materials least expected. This is very true around campus, where masterpieces of sorts made of unconventional materials are cropping up. Mosaics constructed of Post-It notes adorn the walls of the HUB and many academic buildings. Each student in the Intro to Photoshop class, including freshman Domenica Cooke-Tassone, created the murals as part of a project to learn about pixels.

Each project is created out of approximately 500 Post-It notes, and each note is divided into nine sections, said Cooke-Tassone, who pieced together a piano on the band room wall. Because of the limited color scheme Post-It notes provide, the project was “artistic because you had to do your own interpretation of the colors,” Cooke-Tassone said.

“When you’re close to it, it doesn’t look like anything. You have to stand back to see the picture,” Cooke-Tassone said.

In a similar vein, a bird created out of mirror shards decorates the lounge wall of Ballard’s second floor. Created by sophomore Katrina Ulnick, the bird represents the culture of “upcycling” and finding beauty in unlikely places.

When she stepped on and broke her new mirror, she debated for days about what to do with it, since she did not want to throw it away, Ulnick said. Inspired by “Freak Alley” in Boise, an alley covered in street art and mirror mosaics, Ulnick started with the wing and the project grew from there.

“Over a period of three days I’d just add a piece or two every time I passed it and it became a bird. There’s always a way to reuse things,” Ulnick said.

Creating art out of garbage, or simply any unused materials that you already possess, does not have to be difficult and is not only for people who identify themselves as artistic. For example, if you want to make something beautiful out of nothing, there are many simple, functional and artistic projects utilizing commonplace materials to get you started.

Picture frames are originally used to hold art or photography, and are easily transformed into creative yet functional decor for your dorm room. Whether you are artistic or not, using a picture frame to create a dry erase message board is an easy way to repurpose existing materials into something useful. This project should require minimal or no purchases.

Materials: A used picture frame with glass intact—any size or shape can work Paint (optional) Fabric or paper Glue

Step One: Disassemble the frame. If desired, paint the frame any color of your choice or sand it to create a distressed effect.

Step Two: Cover one side of the cardboard inside the frame with fabric, (this can be from the store, an old shirt or sheets—any pattern or color that you like, although a lighter color will be easier to see) wrapping paper, scrapbook paper or tissue paper, like you would when wrapping a present. Glue around the edges of the fabric or paper to attach them to the cardboard. Hot glue or tacky glue works best, but Elmer’s will suffice since the glass of the frame will hold it together.

Step Three: Assemble the frame like you would if it contained a picture, and you are done. Use the new and creative dry erase board to leave reminders for yourself or write notes to your roommate.

An online tutorial of this idea can be found here.

 

Courtney Murphy

Staff Writer

Artist Spotlight: Tayler Wood speaks in image

Janik Emmendorfer, Photographer

Name: Tayler Wood

Grade: Senior

Major: Fine Arts

Minor: English Writing

Tayler Wood discovered art at a very young age.

“I started drawing as soon as I was able to hold a pencil and actually make markings. I’ve always drawn something, whether it was something I saw or something I thought of. I think the first real thing that I drew was my cat at the time. He was a polydactyl and he had seven toes so I named him Mittens,” Wood said.

Today, Wood’s work has evolved from the abnormal toes of a cat to a discussion of social issues through an outlet she calls “flower language.”

“By flower language, I mean the symbols and metaphors associated with those flowers,” Wood said.

For example, Wood created a piece featuring an exposed woman surrounded by vibrant flowers and the remains of a dismembered raven. The flowers that surrounded the depicted woman-lupine, buttercups and forget-me-nots-hold a symbolic meaning, as “flower language” suggests.

“Lupine is a milkweed that is toxic to animals, but there’s a symbolism behind it meaning imagination,” Wood said. Buttercups are a symbol for childhood and forget-me-nots kind of speak for themselves. Ravens mean creativity, but also trickery in animism. The idea is that she was robbing something from the raven and is being exposed for that.

Wood is currently working on another piece that will showcase a young girl wearing sheepskin.

“The message is going to be about how we have shortened childhood, Wood said. Everything is so accessible….sex, drugs, technology. The magic of childhood and that innocence is being lessened. I think that can be a social issue, so I’m addressing that by having this young, delicate girl wearing a sheepskin and she’s going to be fading into this wallpaper that’s going to be the flowers.

When composing a new piece, Wood draws inspiration through several channels.

“I take a lot of inspiration from the concepts found in literature. Sometimes I take from my own personal experiences. Sometimes I’ll draw my inspiration from dreams I have and I’ll try to fit those dreams into a real-world situation. But I think the biggest well of inspiration for me is the fantasy of metaphor and symbolism.”

“For the most part, I want to challenge my audience and make them think about what I’m putting down,” Wood said.

Wood doesn’t just challenge her audience through artwork, but also herself.

“My greatest challenge is probably doubting myself. I doubt myself constantly and it’s because of a social programming that I underwent with my family. I always ask myself, ‘Is this going to look OK? Are people going to like it?’ But I know it doesn’t matter if other people like it. It’s about if I like it. At the same time, art is so much more complicated than ‘I like this’. It’s more about why you like it, what stimulated this, how does this relate?” Wood said.

Despite that challenge, Wood is determined to make her way in the art world.

“My family has not always appreciated my talent. It’s more like, ‘Do you really want to do this as your occupation?’ But the way I see it, I saw so many times growing up that my mom was upset about her job and I was a little kid soaking all this up. So, I decided I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be that. I want to do something that I love even if it means that I’m not necessarily going to make bank.”

To explore some of Wood’s artwork, visit her art blog at passion001.tumblr.com.

Kyla Parkins 

Staff Writer

Whitworthian about town: “Walls on Walls”

Alyssa Saari | Photographer   Art. Usually painted or hung on a wall. Who knew the wall itself could be art? On the far off and unknown side of downtown Spokane, art enthusiast Larry Ellingson displays an art of his own. Throughout  his travels around the world, Ellingson finds new ways of seeing the ordinary and commonplace.

“Many of us daydream and wander through our imaginations, I bring back souvenirs,” Ellingson said. Ellingson sees beauty in everyday objects, and in this case, walls.

The exhibit, “Walls on Walls,” hosted by Saranac Art Projects, was nearly mind blowing. Never before has a rusty, red wall or a city storm drain seemed so inspiring. Not only are ordinary images portrayed in his works, but also famous landmarks.

Ellingson’s work was captured in myriad locations, including Budapest, Italy, Bhutan, India, Iran and many more. With the cultural diversity of these locations, each photo creates a story of its own.

To the amazement of respectable photographers, Ellingson’s choice of camera is astonishing-a simple point-and-shoot. For just using the basics, Ellingson has mastered the art of macro-photography.

This exhibit has been quite successful since it opened Sept. 5, with several photos already sold. The exhibit will be shown until Sept. 27. For all the photographers and art enthusiasts, be sure to stop in soon and have your mind blown.

 

Alyssa Saari

Staff Writer

DIY: Dorm décor for spacially challenged students

Lamp A new school year is upon us and students are moving into the many dormitories on Whitworth’s campus.

Everyone will have clothes, books, electronics, posters, furniture, pictures and various other items that need to be moved into their rooms.

It seems almost physically impossible to fit such a mass of stuff into such small rooms, but students always seem to find a way. How they do this is creative, and sometimes even dangerous.

The first and most common way to set up a room to save space is by bunking the beds. This very simple solution saves a lot of space and allows for quite a few activities within the now open space. A rarer version of this would be the triple bunk, which is only possible in certain rooms. Three beds, high ceilings,and a daring attitude is required to attempt the triple bunk.

One of the finer luxuries in a dorm room is the ownership of a couch. These are big space consumers, so planning can be more difficult. Bunking the beds is almost always a must when a couch is involved; however, there are several other options available as well.

There is the bunk couch. This involves bunking the beds and replacing the bottom mattress with a couch. A raised couch will save some room and allow for ample relaxation, but then the issue of a loose mattress needs to be resolved.

Along similar lines of the bunk couch are the bunk dresser, bunk desk, and bunk bookshelf. They all follow the same guidelines as the bunk couch but with various other items of furniture.

In dorms with high ceilings, it is possible to stack a closet on top of the dresser that is provided in some rooms. An even better way to save space is to stack a bed on top of the dresser/closet stack.

You could also try to fit a mattress inside the closet. The mattress would be vertical, and the user would have to sleep standing up, leaning against the wall of the closet. But just imagine the space that would be saved!

Now you might be thinking “these ideas sure do sound great, but also very dangerous.” Well, you are correct. They are very dangerous. And foolish in general. They are totally ridiculous and none of them should ever be attempted.

However, there are a lot of ways to save space in a dorm room and make it look good at the same time. Dorm rooms seem like a big white prison cell at first, but is easy to change that.

You can hang fun decorations with simple magnetic strips available for purchase at most stores and Kosher to mount on dorm walls. Pictures, assignments, notes, keys and a myriad of other things attach to these magnets. It keeps you organized, saves valuable desk space and can brighten up the room’s walls.

Another cool product that can save space is mesh hanging shelves. These can hang in the closet or on the back of the door. It provides five or six shelves where you could store anything. There are a lot of different colors and varieties available.

Hannah Palmer-4939
Hannah Palmer | Photographer

Finally, if you really want to get crazy with saving space, look at the interiors of boats. They have tiny compartments, but they have to be made for living on potentially long journeys. The inside is incredibly functional and stylish. Hopefully you can save some space and make your room feel more like a home. And remember, never, ever try the triple bunk.

Jacob Millay

Staff Writer