Student Art Show Offers ‘Something for Everyone’
For Jo Mollhagen-Jaksa, the Alma College Student Art Show on display
in the Flora Kirsch Beck Gallery is not only a source of great pride
but also inspirational.
“It’s very motivating to know that people you sit next to in class or see around campus have so much talent,” says Mollhagen-Jaksa, a junior art and theatre major from Mattawan who has two photography prints and a graphic design project in the show.
The student show displays numerous works by Alma College student artists of all skill levels and experience. Guests to the gallery are treated to a variety of styles, subjects and media, including drawings, paintings, graphic design projects, photography, sculpture and more.
“There is a plethora of artists, all sorts of mediums, and something for everyone to enjoy,” says Mollhagen-Jaksa.
The student show runs until Thursday, Oct. 4, with a closing reception in the gallery at 4 p.m. Oct. 4. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free and open to the public. For information, call (989) 463-7220.
This year’s student show highlights the artwork of more than 50 students, says Sandy Lopez-Isnardi, art associate professor and gallery director.
“Art forces us to slow down, to become aware of the textures, colors, form and details that create a particular image,” she explains. “It forces us to start asking questions about perspectives and meaning.”
Mollhagen-Jaksa agrees. Since she started taking art courses, “I’m starting to appreciate art,” she says. “Now I wonder ‘What does this mean?’ or ‘What is the artist trying to portray?’ I’ve realized that it is often more than just an image for decoration.”
With a variety of functional projects, decorative pieces and conceptual works filling the gallery, there is art to appeal to everyone. Some viewers may be captivated by the artwork’s formal elements, such as the intricate detail adorning a fireplace one student designed and built. Others may be drawn to pieces created to evoke emotions or convey a message or theme.
The show also promotes and enhances visual literacy, or the ability to interpret, negotiate and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image, says Lopez-Isnardi. Visual literacy is based on the idea that pictures can be “read” and that meaning can be communicated through a process of reading.
“We are moving forward from a text-centered society to one that informs, advertises and manipulates using icons,” says Lopez-Isnardi. “People can read textual symbols, but not visual images. Art teaches us how to interpret on a deeper level what we see.”
Many of the pieces in the student show creatively reflect cultural themes, including body image, violence, self-expression, technology, social standards and expectations, the grandeur of nature, and individuality.
Artists in the show are as diverse as the featured artwork. Students do not have to be art majors to have their work selected, nor do they have to have prior art experience. Many are involved in different academic departments, a variety of campus organizations, and athletics.
Posted: Mon, September 17th, 2007 at 3:40PM