By Hannah Litvan
The Senior Show is a gallery that is set up and features art from the graduating art majors. They use work from their entire collegiate experience to display how they have grown throughout the years.
Ruff works in self portrait prints showcasing her body and aspects that represent herself. Many of her portraits are made to be viewed as though you were looking through her perspective. She also has pieces that showcase aspects of herself, like her hair or articles of clothing. Many of Ruffs works are prints or in book form. She mainly uses grayscale or even black ink.
In an email, Ruff described her work as telling stories about herself.
“It is telling of my inward struggles with self-confidence and with my body,” Ruff said. “It was interesting to see an almost unconscious progression I was making towards this theme. My time at Albion has helped me grow as both a better artist and to be able to take a step back from my work and try and understand the bigger message and to better understand myself.”
Ruff’s work was inspiring. Seeing different angles of her view on herself was a personal journey. She focuses a lot on lines. Many of the pieces on her hair are intricate and linearly detailed. She has smooth value transitions and her shading is smooth. Viewing art through Ruff’s perspective made the angles appealing and comfortable.
Conrad’s art is very “in the moment.” He focuses on the events that unfold in his every-day college life. He seems to focus on how things skew and mesh together and become hazy through time or substance use. His paintings often have more than one perspective, with many different elements to look at.
“My artistic voice is starting to develop, making it easier to express more complicated ideas,” Conrad said in an email. “My work in the show is testament to this development, my message is evident in my work but takes a little time to discover. As an artist, I don’t want to give the audience any easy answers. Most of my work takes time to digest to get at what I am really talking about and I like that a great deal.”
I found Conrad’s work not only relatable to college students, but also well executed. The close up paintings showcasing jumbled sinks and twisted part scenes were exciting and make me tilt my head to try and see it another way. Outside the party scene paintings were also other stunning works of landscapes and figural books.
Dahlstrom claims his work is about honesty. He uses a wide variety of mediums in this show, and they speak to an exploration of art and self. He uses many different kinds of mark making and technique to make his body of work diverse and compelling.
In his artist statement, Dahlstrom said, “My marks are a reaction to the perception of my subject. For every mark I make, I question how to make the next one better. My process comes from balancing my internal frustrations against my curiosity of the unknown.”
Dahlstrom’s work is thrilling. There’s a complexity to his drawings that draws the eye. He uses so many lines and strokes. The figure stands out, but there’s many layers to the work overall. His metal sculpture and ceramic mufflers are wild and rough. They show the issues of balance and structure.
Klink’s body of work focuses on child imagery. It explores the child in their everyday lives and interacting with each other. Her photography is primarily grayscale and it captures wide shots with children often playing.
“In the setting of being a college student, my work displays the very different life I have outside of school compared to most of my classmates,” Klink said. “It also shows the carefree innocent nature of kids. As we grow to be adults, there are many outside influences that can change and shape our lives, some are for the better, while others can be more harmful to us. A child has yet to be influenced by their surroundings and can still be their own person and have yet to be affected or changed, they are in their pure form.”
Klink’s photographs were lively, fun and real. I enjoyed the natural scenes of the children in their home environment. Their personalities shined through. The fact that they were about the relation of children to the world was a smart choice because the wide shots allowed for a lot of the scene around the children to be taken in. I also enjoyed some of Klink’s sculptural work. Her piece Gluttony was interesting and spoke to the bad habits of American consumption.
Jongeward seems to focus on discovering herself as a woman and as an artist. Her work focuses on separation, feminine imagery and written poetry. I particularly liked her tea bag series, which was tea stains with pen drawings around them. Her written work reflected greatly on being lost and distant, it was intriguing and sad. I also enjoyed some of her mixed media pieces. Some of her books would be watercolor with written words and drawn pictures as well.
“I think anyone who looks at my art will immediately understand that it’s intensely personal and intimate,” Jongeward said in an email. “Both my writing and my art are how I process what’s happening in the world around me. When my fiance graduated in the spring of 2012, I started the ritual of creating daily tea bag drawings, which became the way that I processed his absence from my life and mourned the death of relationship as two college students, while simultaneously embracing the future of our relationship as life partners. Much of my poetry is about reconciling my identity as an artist and an individual with my identity as someone’s wife and life partner, and the difficulties of loving someone so deeply.”
I found Jongeward’s work perplexing and complicated. There was a lot of tension and personal meaning in her work. She used a wide variety of methods which made her body of work compex. I enjoyed reading her poems and paging through her books.
Memering focuses on large cats in her art. She primarily uses grayscale photography to enhance the feeling of diminishing and suffering. She also has some paintings and sculptures. The large cats are not only the form she studies, but they have everything to do with her message and motivation.
In her artist statement, Memering said, “by photographing these animals and learning about the rapid decline in populations, I quickly became interested in conservation efforts to protect them, and I began to look at photographers with similar interests.”
Memering’s photography is stunning. The close up shots of the big cats capture a range of emotions and positions. The three lions that are displayed together is a strong sequence. I thought her plastic structure of the leopard was an interesting use of light. It was nice that it was above the viewer, too, it was powerful.
After graduation, hopefully these students continue to create art and express themselves. The Senior show can be seen in the Bobbitt Galleries on the main floor through the rest of the semester.