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Seniors show work in New Departures April 13-May 22

April  11, 2016

Ten seniors in studio art and graphic design will display their Senior Inquiry work in the New Departures exhibition April 13-May 22.

The students will share their creative process at an artists' talk at 10 a.m. May 4. A closing reception will be held from 12:30-2 p.m. on May 22.

The Augustana Teaching Museum of Art is open from is open from noon to 4 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays when classes are in session (September-May).

The artists are:

Lauren Becker, a graphic design major from Palos Park, Ill.

T.J. Clifford, a graphic design major from  Lake in the Hills, Ill.

Sydney Crumbleholme, an art major from Moline, Ill.

Nathan Gray, an art major from Rock Island, Ill.

Tyler James, a graphic design major from Davenport, Iowa.

Bailey Kerschieter, an art major from Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Katherine Knauft, an art and psychology major from Warrenville, Ill.

Ryen Merhar, an art major from River Forest, Ill.

Holly Scholl, an art and graphic design major from Polo, Ill.

Jacob Soukup, a major in art and business administration from Lisle, Ill.


Artist's statement, Bailey Kerschieter: "These landscape paintings are representative of the “past,” “present,” and “future.” Although all three paintings appear to be futuristic, they still tell a story of moving from one time period into another. The theme of this show was inspired by a Robert Frost quote: “In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.” Each landscape consists of trees because they are known to be representative of life and growing.

"Over time, because of the human footprint on the planet, we caused trees and other like-organisms to die. So, humans decided to create structures to resemble trees but had to find a way to also disperse air through the structure (hence the mushroom-like trees where air is made, filtered, and dispersed through the bottom of each mushroom-like cap). The idea of the trees/like organisms dying and  being rebuilt throughout time can also be representative of hardship that we all go through during life (dying trees) and the process of building ourselves back up again, adding new qualities to ourselves  (new mushroom-like trees). The reasoning behind this choice of theme was because it can speak to a large audience, and it can represent the ongoing process of life: how it drags you down and brings you back up again (it goes on)."
Artist's statement, Jacob Soukup: "These recent paintings explore the presence of excitement, energy, and adrenaline rush one can capture in a moment. Oil paints have a quality that can make a painting come to life. This lifelike quality is exactly what I strive to capture in a way that allows the viewer to put themselves inside the painting.The inspiration for these paintings came from my own experiences of adventure and risk taking. The use of foreshortening and distortion help give the figures a sense of energy and create movement throughout the composition. By portraying the various situations through a warped lens I believe that it draws the viewer in to question what is going on in the painting.

"As a result from viewing my paintings, I hope to inspire the viewer to feel the urge to go out and try something new and exciting. If they are not the type of person to partake in activities like these, then I wish to have them feel a sense of anxiety or unease. This sensation is desired because as a result the viewer is fully interested and engaged with the work to a point that it triggers their emotions. I feel that if that if you are touched on that level then my work has truly come to life."
Artist's statement, Katherine Knauft: "Classmates, cashiers, acquaintances, and strangers. Every day we interact with dozens of people living unique, complex lives entirely separate from our own. Some lives are so intertwined with ours that we feel as if we know everything about them. Some people we meet briefly, never to see again. However, most people we see, whether in class, or at work, or in passing, we see in pieces. These details are only fragments of the people they are, robbed of the context that is necessary to make them meaningful. This piece serves as a reflection of human interaction and a reminder that we only get a glimpse into the lives of most people we interact with."
Artist's statement, Ryen Merhar: "Art allows emotion to be expressed visually, and in this case, physically as well. The tapestries in front of you represent specific emotions attached to personal experiences. Although all experiences are unique to each individual, the emotions that are attached to our personal experiences are universal. Each tapestry is labeled with the emotion and experience behind it. Although you cannot necessarily relate to the specific experiences, the emotions expressed in these pieces can evoke feelings and memories that are personal to you. While working on the pieces presented today, new emotions and realizations surfaced. Through art, I am able to constantly learn more about myself and the meaning behind feelings endured each day. It is encouraged to touch the tapestries, as I believe the texture of each piece correlates to the emotion it conveys. "
Artist's statement, Holly Scholl: "Twenty-four hours. These hours are the graph paper we plan our lives according to. This small window of time is a rut humanity tends to get stuck in.  Up close, a successful day is defined by checklists and word counts, leaving little room to credit hours spent on personal growth that cannot be understood under the scrutiny of a microscope. 

"Although these hours chart our lives, there is much more that we count in a day. The moments. The constant rhythm of crescendos and diminuendos made up of our experiences. Stopwatches, countdowns, and clocks don’t record the parts make up a life. When we take one second of one hour to be appreciative, the intricate details of life becomes illuminated as a whole."
Artist's statement, Lauren Becker: "The current works of art display four pieces that incorporate photography and digital illustration. This exhibition is meant to capture the attention of the dangerous and painful effects of wildlife poaching. However, this exhibit twists how we may see poaching by displaying human beings as part of the torturous pain just a few of the animals may have to go through. Some of these pieces may be difficult to look at, but realistically this happens to many animals for the own sake of self-interest, and therefore it is something that must be revealed in order to make a change. 

"The only request from the artist is to take in the emotions of the pieces, as well as possible appalling reactions. Now think about family, friends or anyone close as the people featured are to the artist and imagine them in the same excruciating condition. Would you take action then?"
Artist's statement, Sydney Crumbleholme: "This table-presentation is a reflection of my personal experience with rape and assault. Rather than approaching the content in a traditionally radical way, my project invites the audience to view the disturbing subject matter from a quieter angle.

"I chose to emphasize what was most traumatic about my experience – the emotion inflicted by the disheartening things that were said to me when I opened up about my situation.

"Each spiraled plate of text represents categories such as “Things he said to me,” “Things he said about me,” “Things they said to me,” “Things they said about me,” “Things I said about myself,” and finally a plate without words - signifying the silence I had for so long.  I selected the medium of ceramics, because it highlights the idea that “What you say is set in stone.” Even if words are taken back, they still leave an impression. 

The woven placemats allude to women’s ripped undergarments, the knives symbolize that everyone is capable to stabbing someone in the back or in the heart – even yourself, and the wine glasses represent communion – how Christ’s blood washes away our sins, no matter how bad. 

"A significant portion of my project is a handmade journal, which includes vignettes of physical details. This journal is four-hundred-and-ninety pages long, because The Bible says to forgive someone seventy times seven times a day. I invite those who view my project to participate in writing in the remaining pages of the journal. My desire is to offer a safe and anonymous way to share private experiences that are often left unsaid due to fear of negative response.  

"My goals for this project were to recognize the many voices around me, and to give one to myself in the process. My hope in sharing my experience is that it inspires others to use their voice in a powerful way."
Artist's statement, TJ Clifford: "The intent of my senior project was to explore and bring awareness to the influence negative emotions can have on dreams. I created objects in a variety of scenes demonstrating types of fears that we can have, and the resulting effects. I also show that dreams, just like stories, can be interpreted differently depending on the viewer. In order to add a story-like element to my project, I created a ball as the “main character” in each scene, which is shown dealing with the fears they have. Some fears that they have to face are associated with family, death, separation, loneliness, and restriction.  In order to help the viewers interpret what they see, I included minimal narration.  The narration incorporated titles that show up between each of the scenes to introduce them to the main idea.  

"Fear is something that we have to deal with throughout our entire lives.  However, just because fear has a stigma attached to it, does not mean that it is entirely bad.  Fear, just like love or hatred, is a powerful emotion that can drive us to accomplish great things. I associate fear with dreams because fear is not something that most people enjoy talking about. Instead, we may experience fear subconsciously, in our dreams or nightmares."