Senior art exhibit showcases talent

by Molly Mishler and Danielle WallingStaff Writers

On Thursday, April 17, from 6-8 p.m., an art exhibit for senior art majors will open in Farnham Galleries. This show is an opportunity to show members of the Simpson staff and community what they have learned over the course of their time at Simpson.

The art show is part of the capstone requirement for art majors, all senior art majors are required to take. The course is three credits and students spend the semester working on a project of their choice.

Justin Nostrala, assistant professor of art, says the class is really a time for students to explore their creativity.

“The ball is really in their court,” Nostrala said. “Some choose to stay within their concentration and others go outside of their focus.”

The class does not have a typical structure of class lectures and notes. Students brainstorm a concept for their exhibit and then spend three months putting it together. They have the freedom to do what they would like, and although they must meet and discuss the progress they’re making, instruction is really only offered upon request.

Senior Krystal Berger feels the art show is a wonderful idea.

“I had almost complete freedom to pursue exactly what I wanted to create,” Berger said. “The art faculty and student support made it the best it could be.”

Berger is one of seven art majors participating in this exhibit and is showing six framed pieces that use different media to represent different elements. She is using graphic design to display natural elements, sumi ink for the mechanical elements and photography for human elements.

“This will allow the viewer to see the beauty of each element by itself, but also how it interacts with other elements,” Berger said.

During the show, student artists are required to stand in front of their exhibit and talk to the members of the Art Department and other art majors and minors. They will be giving statements that explain their exhibit and answering any questions posed.

As part of the questioning, an artist from outside the Simpson faculty will take part in the show. This year, Brad Keller is the artist of choice. He is currently a freelance designer, illustrator, portrait painter and design consultant for Wells Fargo. Keller lived in Indianola before attending Pensacola Christian College and receiving a degree in commercial art. Keller will be responsible for asking the student artists questions about their displays and providing written feedback.

The reception for the event held in Farnham will be complete with hors’de vours, beverages and a live harpist, Mary Foss. Foss is the principal artist for the Des Moines Symphony.

Senior Beriet Bichel, another art major, is excited for the show and feels it is a worthwhile learning experience.

“I am looking forward to seeing people’s reaction to the entire show,” Bichel said. “The key thing I’ve learned is that I should not be so anxious about where my life is going.”

Both Berger and Bichel feel the art show has furthered their knowledge in their subject and has given them motivation to continue not only as a career choice, but as a hobby.

“My talents and ideas have been nurtured and I will continue to be successful outside of these walls,” Bichel said.

Berger agreed.

“The best thing I’ve taken from this is that I can and should still create art just for me after I graduate,” Berger said.