"The Space Between" showcases senior art

Last Tuesday marked the opening day for the 2016 senior exhibition, “The Space Between.” Located in the Bryan Oliver gallery inside of the Lied Arts Center, "The Space Between" exhibit is a compilation of works from Whitworth senior visual art students. The show features a wide variety of projects, including a wire installation, graphic designs, screen prints, paintings, photographs and even an artist book. Before graduating seniors are asked to come up with a final project that reflects both their time at Whitworth and their chosen field of study.

Senior art and psychology major Christina Dobbins prepared a four-panel mixed media work, a painted photograph of a bustling city on canvas. Using a photograph and a gel medium, Dobbins transferred the black and white photo to the canvases and then painted over selected parts of the image with oil paint.

“I am from the San Francisco area, California, so I came up with the idea from some pictures I took of street life when I was home,” Dobbins said. “I really like the busyness of cities, and the diversity of people in them, and so that's where I got the idea.”

Dobbins' work is neither fully a photograph nor fully a painting, but rather it is a unique combination.

Senior Britney Baker chose to share both her love for photography and for her older sister. For her project, she displayed a series of photographs that she took of her sister and her husband titled, “The Story of Them.”

“The pictures on the wall is a storyline of my sister and the few big moments that have happened in her life so far, her getting engaged, her newborn pictures and having her first child.”

Additionally, Baker put together a book of photographs she has taken that the viewer is invited to flip through to experience her style of photography.

“The book is a compilation of all the things I have been recently working on,” Baker said. “I wanted the book to be a product I would be able to show to clients in the future.”

Senior Jeff Skaggs’ work “Aging Process” is made of six similar but slightly different labels on aging bottles of wine, to show the evolution of his knowledge and skills as a graphic design major and his aging process.

“My work...is my reflection on the change throughout my collegiate career, a change as a person, and now I am getting ready to enter the workforce and what we would classify as the ‘real world,’” Skaggs said. “It’s a change and a progression, so it’s an aging process, and that’s why I labeled it that.”

The faculty in the art department work to equip and discuss with their students the reality of life after college, but not without presenting some healthy challenges for them along the way.

Dobbins’ challenge has been juggling a psychology and art major, and trying to navigate life after Whitworth.

“I’m a psychology and art major, so it has been interesting trying to balance the two, and figuring out what I want to do,” Dobbins said. “We have some really good professors, that are always willing to help talk through things and come up with ideas, so that’s been really helpful.”

Growing as an artist and a person at Whitworth has proven to be sometimes difficult for Baker.

“It’s definitely been a bumpy road at times, I have learned a lot about myself,” Baker said. “[The professors] really push you to do your best and they push you sometimes when you don’t want to be pushed, but they do anyways, and I am better artist because of that.”

Skaggs has been challenged to grow his knowledge in areas beyond his major and. “I have felt really happy here at Whitworth,” Skaggs said. “I am really thankful that I didn't just spend all my time dedicated in one specific area, because then I feel like I wouldn’t have had the knowledge and skills to apply other areas into my work.”

The artwork of these seniors and their classmates will be on display in the Bryan Oliver Gallery from now until May 21.

 

Kailee Carneau Staff Writer

Freshman Jira Hammond interprets senior Annie Feuerstein’s piece titled “Set Time, Face Self”.

Contact Kailee at kcarneau17@my.whitworth.edu

"The Devil is in the Details" exhibit features intricate pieces made from unusual materials

Hana Hetty ManuelaStaff Writer

If you are a detail-oriented person, come and explore the details at the art exhibition “The Devil Is in Details” put on by Whitworth University. As the title suggests, the art exhibition expresses a catch or mysterious element hidden in the details. Photographer: Stuart Beeksma  Anna Osten (left) and Dana Bretch admiring the details in Andy Messerschmidt’s work.

The artists used recycled materials such as bed sheets, blankets, gift-wrap, pillows, rubber bands and even doll house flooring, and transformed the materials into beautiful artworks with deep details.

The collaboration between materials, colors, textures and shapes create the beauty of 17 pieces by artists Benjamin DeMott, Claire Hedden, Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor, Andy Messerschmidt and Joetta Maue.

The opening reception for the exhibition was held in the Bryan Oliver Gallery in the Lied Art Center on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and was attended by students, professors and community members. After attendees viewed the pieces for an hour, the event continued with an artist talk with O’Connor and Messerschmidt.

During the talk, the artists explained their pieces and their creative process. Messerschmidt, who is predominantly a painter, spoke about his inspiration to include gift-wrap, stickers and other ornaments in his artwork.

O’Connor, who creates large animalistic sculptures, said she drew inspiration from the original illustration of Alice in Wonderland that haunted her imagination when she was child. She described the behind-scenes process of her art, and explained about the characteristic of her artwork.

"It becomes mysterious,” O’Connor said. “They are animals, but they are not animals, they are some kind figure, but we don't know who they are."

Ayobami Adedeji, a freshman art student who attended the event, enjoyed and was intrigued by O’Connor’s work.

“I got the idea that the artist is not only painting or using the computer,” Adedeji said. “[The art] is about life.” Adedeji appreciated the exhibition and the artist talk and question and answer session that accompanied it.

“I think this is a nice event for freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors," Adedeji said. "It was creative, different and inspirational.”

Many other students attended the opening event, including junior Mykaela Hendrix.

“I enjoyed the variety of artwork that was presented in the exhibition and I enjoyed that the artists talked about their work,” Hendrix said. “It’s so inspiring.”

For Whitworth students who have interest in art and would like to gain experience, some of the featured artists will teach workshops this fall. Covering a wide range of mediums from clay and sculpture to embroidery, the workshops are open to everyone regardless of skill level.

“The Devil Is in Details” is open until Oct. 30 at the Lied Center for the Visual Arts Bryan Oliver Gallery. It is free and open to the public. Gallery hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday

The exhibit is closed on official university holidays. For further information, please call (509) 777-3258.