Final Farnham exhibit shows off graduating seniors

by Kelly Drobac

Every month, Farnham Galleries provides the Simpson community with the opportunity to witness the artwork and creative pieces of established artists from around the country. However, from April 5 to May 20, the community will have the chance to experience artwork from some of Simpson’s very own artists.

Seniors Jamie Alexander, LeeAnn Clifton, Angela Davidson, Minh Tran, Ashley Finestead, Mitzi Gezel, Stephanie Jetter and Andrea Kroll will contribute personal artwork they created during their Senior Seminar class.

Alexander will show charcoal drawings on paper. She took a unique approach to creating her drawings because while working, she listened to one or two songs repeatedly in an effort to portray the meanings of the songs in her work.

Clifton, Davidson and Tran will feature their acrylic paintings on canvas. Clifton took a personal approach to her work by interviewing family members and then using their responses to create an abstract portrait of each individual. Davidson also incorporated her family into her work by painting friends and family from personal photographs, specifically focusing on the facial expressions and interaction between people. Tran took a more reflective approach to her work by painting landscapes of Iowa to show that it’s not boring, but has beautiful places.

Finestead will show her graphic designs with a theme of the five senses in an effort to encourage viewers to appreciate each one in a new way.

Gezel will show her photography of young children as they interact with one another and Jetter will feature her photography dealing with the connection between nature and design.

“My project is traditional photography that has been abstracted through Photoshop,” Jetter said.

Kroll has included her work of combining linoleum cut printing with an intaglio process using the theme of human emotion in facial expressions.

“My project is block printing,” Kroll said. “The block printing is linoleum coated blocks that I carve using a tool, and the prints are made by rolling ink over the carved surface and sending the blocks and paper through a printing press. The end result of the print on the paper is the actual art.”

Kroll said all senior art majors were required to present work for the exhibition.

“It was required as an art major for you to do the show,” Kroll said.

Justin Nostrala, assistant professor of art, taught the class and guided the seniors through their projects.

“It was a regular three hour credit course offered in the fall semester and the students met at regular class time to work on their projects,” Nostrala said. “They had to propose what kind of work they wanted to do, what materials they would be using, and how they were going to communicate their content.”

Kroll said their work had to have a common idea.

“We are supposed to have six pieces of art that share a common theme,” Kroll said. “It was up to us to figure out what our theme would be.”

Kroll also said the projects were time-consuming and required a great deal of work.

“Our projects took a long time,” Kroll said. “I know I worked on mine for a good three months.”

Nostrala said the seniors really helped each other with their projects.

“The class held critiques and they were able to talk to each other about their projects, and they could suggest any improvements that could be made to their work,” Nostrala said. “The work they did should reflect what they have been focusing on in art with their four years at Simpson. All their studying and focusing leads up to this senior project.”

Sophomore Kristine Doonan was impressed with the quality of work being displayed.

“You can tell the seniors worked really hard on this project; it’s not just something that they threw together at the last minute,” Doonan said. “It’s something they took their time on and it really shows.”

Doonan especially liked Tran’s work.

“I really like the painting done by Minh Tran,” Doonan said. “It’s a beautiful scene and it’s full of really pretty colors.”

Tran said she painted to remind her of the feelings she had in the moment.

“I did landscapes to recall the feelings I had at the moment using expressive colors,” Tran said.

David Richmond, associate professor of art, said students should come to Farnham Galleries to see the Senior Exhibition.

“It’s a really great show,” Richmond said. “They are artists on campus that probably most students know or talk to and they deserve to have their artwork displayed. Plus, they worked really hard on it.”