Art Seniors Display Their Best Work in Gallery Exhibit

“I’ve traveled to Spain and France to study art history, served as the president of two art-lead organizations and have been the assistant to the director of our art gallery. I have had opportunities beyond my wildest dreams here.” — Josh Gove

In the final gallery exhibit of the year, Alma College art students display the culmination of their work with pieces that celebrate personality, faith, elephants and culture.

The Flora Kirsch Beck Gallery at Alma College presents the annual Senior Show from Monday, March 17 through Friday, April 18. Admission is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Keego Harbor senior Mallory Montgomery brings together her passions of art and psychology in her work.

“After I found a subject that spoke to me—people—I combined figure drawings with my passion for personality and abnormal psychology,” she said. “I began to pursue drawings, paintings and ceramics as vehicles to create conversational and evocative pieces that focus on a psychological, interactive connection between the piece and the viewer.”

Montgomery has plans to pursue a career in art therapy working with autistic and terminally ill children. She says that her time with the Alma College art department has helped her gain the skills necessary to achieve her goals.

“By learning our individual styles, we as artists can reach out to others and share our messages,” Montgomery says. “I personally have gained skills that will allow me to reach out to children in need and help them using art as a vehicle of expression and therapy.”

Holland senior Mallory Otten displays paintings and drawings, with some photography pieces in the show as well.

“The theme behind my work is built upon human emotions and the idea of faith,” Otten says. “The human figures in my work represent different emotions that grow and develop by having faith that difficult things will get better in time.”

Otten plans to take a year off after graduating from Alma, and then she hopes to go to graduate school to study art therapy.

“Besides learning many different techniques and methods for doing different types of art, this department also has taught me a lot about myself,” she says. “Art has always been a way for me to process everything that is going on in my life, and Alma College has been a perfect place for me to explore that further.”

St. Louis senior Holly Ross features high-fired and raku-fired ceramics centered on capturing a sense of life.

“My installation piece in particular is meant to seem as if a tapestry of tiles is coming to life to spill out onto the display in front, forming life of its own,” she says. “Elephants are used in some of my pieces as well as Indian textile design, to play with the tension between organic and structural forms.”

Ross will attend the Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy, this summer for a post-baccalaureate certificate. She then hopes to pursue her master’s degree in ceramics and eventually go on to teach at the collegiate level.

St. Johns senior Josh Gove creates art that goes beyond natural representations of everyday life.

“I explore other cultures and their patterns in order to create a personal culture of my own that fills a dream-like world that I have created using different mediums,” he says. “I have many drawings, paintings and prints that speak my personal artistic language and express colorful perceptions from my imagination.”

Gove hopes to receive his master in fine arts degree and then go on to be both a professor at the collegiate level and a gallery director. He says that the experiences and knowledge he gained at Alma College will aid him in these pursuits.

“I’ve traveled to Spain and France to study art history, served as the president of two art-lead organizations and have been the assistant to the director of our art gallery on campus,” Gove says. “I have had opportunities beyond my wildest dreams here.”

Other students featured in the show are Grand Rapids senior Taylor McLane, Ortonville Amy Merriman, Ada senior Josh Spratt and Lake City senior Kristyn Park.


Story published on March 18, 2014
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