Campus Claire Wittlieff

Art department presents senior exhibition




Earlier this month, the Alma College Art Department opened its Senior Art Exhibition in the Flora Kirsch Beck gallery in the Clack Building. The showcase, titled “Ablaze,” includes different artistic mediums such as photographs, paintings, sculptures, sketches and more. The exhibit will be open until April 8. 

“I am thrilled with the diversity of research and objects built for senior exhibition,” said Jillian Dickson, Assistant Professor of the Art Department at Alma College. 

“You will see furniture design, research on optics, feminist paintings [and] design thinking applied to community engagement and everything in between. It is a great show,” said Dickson.

The art displayed in the Clack Building will exemplify the major interest areas of each different artist while typically displaying something deeply personal. Many of the pieces in this year’s exhibit illustrate contrasting messages while all having great significance.

One senior, Starr Koon (’23), has created her capstone project by using photography to explore the relationship between trauma and its effect on memory. This is just one example of many, but the meaning resonates with and peaks the interest of many college students.

“Months ago, I would never have pictured my project landing where it did. It pivoted several times, but I knew I wanted to do something psychology related because I’m a psychology and art double major,” said Koon, describing the twists and turns of her artistic process.  

“It took a lot of exploration for me to realize I was trying to tell someone else’s story instead of my own. This led me to create a collaborated experience, using personal and shared trauma for storytelling, and manipulating the images to show how my trauma has affected my memory abilities,” said Koon. 

Similar to the next artist, Koon recognized that putting together her part of the exhibit has “strengthened the relationship [she] had with [her] work and with [herself] as well,” said Koon.

Lauryn Bishop (’23) utilized light and shadow in her piece titled “Remove Me,” in which she removed her face from Alma College’s different marketing materials. 

“For my senior artwork, I wanted to visually represent my experience as a Black woman at a [predominantly white institution], specifically Alma College. The work I use is multimedia, but I primarily use digital sources,” said Bishop.

“I decided to make this my primary focus because I had a really hard time in school dealing with microaggressions, tokenism and more, so I wanted to use this as an opportunity to reflect on that through art,” said Bishop.

In addition to talking about her work, Bishop also discussed the close sense of community that exists within the art department. 

“My favorite experience with the art department was being able to participate in various departmental events/programs such as Art Club and the Halloween event. It was the best way for me to bond with people in major, and I think that is something that you don’t really see a lot of, even at Alma,” said Bishop. 

It is apparent that much love, work and consideration went into the creative process of these pieces. To support the Alma College Art Department, please visit the Flora Kirsch Beck gallery in the Clack Building.

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