Seven seniors display work in senior art show


Elijah Herrington

Senior Elley Coffin speaks to spectators during opening night of the senior art exhibit. Coffin is one of seven graduating art students displaying work in the show.

Kadra Sommersted, Staff Writer

Seven senior art students got the chance to show off their artwork to friends, family, and members of the WSC community last Thursday afternoon. Viewers can visit the Nordstrand Visual Arts Gallery and the Peterson Art Space to experience artwork by Lexi Culver, Amy Sager, Elley Coffin, Kalan Rogers, Catherine Doran, Kaci Schacht and Paige Spieker. With different aspects of work from each, they came up with the showcase name “Vantage.”

On the Tuesday before the show, Spieker and Sager were seen putting up the lettering for the show. Spieker said her focus for the show was more on family and hope, while Sager said her focus was love and happiness and/or anxiety, sadness, and depression.

“We’ve been working on our projects for all four years,” Spieker said. “The pieces we have in the show are mainly focused towards what we’ve accomplished in the last two years. So towards the end of our sophomore year, junior, and then what we have done the rest of this year.”

Spieker said most of the time spent depended on the pieces they chose to do and how long it took to complete it.

“The whole show we have been working on since the beginning of the semester,” Spieker said. “We’ve done a lot of planning and placement. Each person has about four or five projects total, maybe a little bit more,” Spieker said.

Sager made comments on what everyone had displayed.

“We used four 2-D, and then a few 3-D pieces for each person,” Sager said. “As a whole, each person has something different.”

They each had different viewpoints, so Sager said they chose the name “Vantage” to correlate to that.

“So it meets all of us, just different viewpoints,” Sager said.

Spieker said that typically there are about three or four people for the art shows, so there is not as much differentiation in the works.

“We have a larger graduating class,” Spieker said. “We have seven people in this show, and everyone went at their work way differently.”

Spieker and Sager pointed out the different focuses of everyone: nature, anxiety, feminism, as well as somethings that could be grouped as mental and physical.

“That is why we chose the name ‘Vantage,’” Spieker said. “Everything comes in at a different vantage point for each person.”

Like most artists, there is some difficulty for them when it comes to choosing a favorite of their own pieces.

“My most recent piece is probably my most favorite, it’s called ‘Flood,’” Spieker said. “It’s a mixture of acrylic paint, spray paint, and resin on Masonite board. It’s probably my biggest piece, but other than that, my piece ‘United’ was also one of my favorites. It’s made out of 1,257 toothpicks.”

Spieker said “United” took her a long time to make, and was most likely her most dedicated piece.

Sager had a more difficult time deciding which one of her pieces was her favorite.

“I’m in between several of them,” Sager said. “One of them is the giant heart ‘Love Yourself’ that has a bunch of Dove wrappers glued to it. I know a lot of people deal with self-conscience issues. Each wrapper has a quote on it that basically try to get you to love yourself.”

Sager said that she also likes “Love Yourself” because it is bright and colorful. She said that she wants her pieces to be able to make people smile.

Spieker said that opening was a prideful moment for all of them to show their work and everything they have done.

“We finally got here and we get to show everyone what we have done for it,” Spieker said.

Rogers enjoys interacting with the patrons during the show.

“The best part about showing my work is talking to people about my inspiration and process of my artwork,” Rogers said. “I don’t get to talk about the process and the ideas behind what I have created, so it was nice to share this information with individuals.”

Rogers also said she really enjoyed getting to experience displaying her art work for others to see.

“I have not had many opportunities to exhibit my work in a gallery, so having this experience has been wonderful,” Rogers said.

Schacht was excited to show their works to a wider audience.

“We usually only have our classmates that see them,” Schacht said. “To have the opportunity to put it out in the public for people of all ages to see was what I was excited to see.”

Schacht said it was really rewarding to see everyone go through the gallery and getting to see their reactions to each piece.

“Seeing and hearing about how well we’ve done is something special,” Schacht said.

Associate professor of art history and gallery coordinator Andy Haslit has overseen the last six senior art shows. This is the biggest group he has helped with so far.

“With seven different voices, there’s a lot more scope to the work,” Haslit said. “I’m seeing more variety than I’ve seen in other shows. This is the first time we have had to go across the street to Peterson and use the art space there.”

Haslit said organizing the artwork for show was like packing a trunk.

“I’m just real excited about the work they all put in all semester,” Haslit said. “I’m real happy with the quality of work they all put up. It’s pretty impressive.”

The exhibit, displayed at both Nordstrand and Peterson, will be open until April 11.