The Student Exhibition Center showcased student photo and metal work of all levels in a biennial exhibit, curated from their final portfolios within a wide range of courses.
This exhibition always differs a bit from those that came before. “The students and the range of work they are making always makes it a different show,” explains Gwen Walstrand, Faculty Area Coordinator and photography professor for the Art + Design Department. With each photography course, students have the opportunity to chose their own focus for a “long-term individualized project,” where they expand upon their selected topics and create a body of work as a result. “They choose wildly different things to pursue, but most photographic projects express some aspect of being human,” shares Gwen, “The specifics of photography and their own interests allow the work within those broad categories to become very personalized and potentially more meaningful because of those specifics.”
Student Sinjin Delmore sought out and found meaning throughout his photographic process. “Through this project I have learned a lot about my own mental health and began to process those past traumas,” shares Sinjin. His project focuses upon mental health, trauma, and abuse, presented as self-portraiture. “This project has taught me about photography in a lot of ways,” Sinjin says, “Throughout the process […], I have had a lot of time to think about the medium and how the ideas of subjectivity and objectivity are arbitrary and unhelpful.” He has not only sharpened his photography skills, but also discovered the impact of vulnerability and the significance it holds when shared in artwork. “I’ve also learned that telling your own story can help others, and just because it is the experiences of one person, other people relate to those experiences in a deep way. And that is powerful,” shares Sinjin.
Illustrating the breadth of options and approaches for these long-term individualized photo projects, student Jaylen Early is presenting a selection of photos surrounding dreams and the unique sensory details within them. “By my use of optical illusions and camera techniques, I distort the images to portray these sensory dreamlike feelings,” she explains, “While creating this project I have experimented with not only technical elements, but I’ve also pushed myself conceptually and emotionally to dig deeper.”
The act of exhibiting is important for students in that they are not only gaining experience through creating a cohesive body of work, but also by understanding the communicative power of their work as it relates to audiences beyond the classroom. “I think there’s also so much for students to learn about one another’s work, so seeing the show can allow for new ideas and understandings through others’ work,” shares Gwen, “There’s also a strong sense of accomplishment when a project is completed and some results from it are tangible and shared with others.”
The exhibition was on view at the Student Exposition Center February 24-March 9.
Students with work in the exhibition: Kate Burch, Daniel Curtis, Alicia Herman, Andrew Kelch, Jalen Lee, Christina Matherly, Hannah O’Neil, Taylor Ross, Bailey Schuldt, Leigh Stracener, Ashton Chowning, Victoria Frizell, Erin Hillery, Jasmine Hutton, Kaitlyn Mefferd, Philip Muir, Tyler Nitcher, Erin Olson, Sinjin Delmore, Samuel Schacht, Brianna Miller, Nicole Brunette, Jordan Haddock, Lillian Kanagawa, Makayla Martin, Angelina Navarro, Madeline Netzer, Emma Renfroe, Samuel Stile, Erin Hainline, Naysa Adams, Jalin Anderson, Andrea Collazos, Nicholas Miller, Jo Nielsen, Michail Ratcliff, Katherine Ter Kuile, Trang Vu, Ashton Chowning, Greta Cross, Jaylen Early, Victoria Frizell, Brianna Miller, Erin Olson, Hannah Sparks, Leah Stiefermann, and Bailey Wilhelm.