Covenant College’s Department of Art hosted the Senior Integration Project (SIP) Show, “And Again,” last night in the gallery on the second floor of Kresge Memorial Library. The show opened at 7:00 p.m. and attracted friends, family, and admirers of the seniors’ artwork. The small gallery space filled quickly, generating excited chatter in response to the diverse pieces.
The five seniors—Trent Kelly, Heather Harper, Katharine Redberg, Victoria Barr and Ellie Shaughnessy—collaboratively produced the theme of “And Again,” in reference to their similar experiences with repetition and reproduction, despite using different mediums.
Some artists, like Shaughnessy, experienced repetition in the actual making of her ceramic pieces, while photographer Harper dealt with repetition not in her piece but in her process. Harper says they hoped the show would call attention to the amount of repetition that occurs in art-making—she says, “It’s not just again, but it’s and again.”
Harper, who helped orchestrate many SIP shows during her time at Covenant, is familiar with the behind-the-scenes effort that goes into making a show happen. “It’s important to realize that it’s collaborative—it comes together with the help of a lot of people to make a real show.” The lighting, installation, food reception, and general atmosphere of the show are all important factors that contribute to its success.
For art majors, a SIP has four steps. The first step is to write a rationale, an 8-10 page biography explaining the artist’s personal background, and must include essays of significance.
The second step is to give a PechaKucha-style presentation, 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each, on the artist’s idea. This step forces the student forces the student to realize the space limitation of the gallery, how much money the student is willing to spend, and the amount of time required to produce the final project. The student then has 6-10 weeks to make the piece.
The show itself is the third step. This includes the installation of the work into the gallery space, its premiere, and its de-installation 3 weeks later.
The final step is to give an oral defense of the student’s work to 2 readers. One reader is an art faculty member, while the second reader is a professor outside the art department and chosen by the student.
The students are graded on craftsmanship, how well they drew from art history, how well they articulated why the work is important to them, and faith integration.
Harper notes how “And Again” presented a variety of mediums (ceramics, painting, ink, photography, and needlework), but came together as a cohesive show. “Each of our works all have elements that overlap, which is unusual for a SIP show. For the theme ‘And Again,’ we had to look for connections in each other’s work and what we all have in common—it’s a part of the art tradition.”
For her own project, it was important for Harper’s photographs to be interactive with the viewers. Her solution was to print the photographs onto mirrors, frame them, and hang them from the gallery ceiling. Her photographs created a network of reflective frames, allowing the viewer to engage his or her body in the act of viewing the objects.
“I thought I was going to have to cancel my SIP,” says Harper. The printer in Chattanooga she planned on using broke over Spring Break, meaning her SIP show came together in a week’s time. Despite the unexpected drawback, Harper says “I grew so much through the process and I’m to glad have collaborated with my friends.”