As the year comes to a close, ten senior art majors get a chance to reflect on their four years of sculpting, painting, and sketching here at Covenant with the debut of the annual “Retrospect: A Look Back at Past Works” exhibit on November 30th.
“It’s a type of show and tell,” said Art History major Sarah Perri, adding that the exhibit seems to have garnered more of turnout—particularly at the opening reception on November 30th—than other “Retrospect” shows in the past.
The exhibit, divided between the Kresge Memorial Library Art Gallery and Lucas Art Workshop, will feature an assortment of 32 pieces. As directed by curator and assistant professor Elissa Weichbrodt, artists placed more monochrome works in Kresge and those of a more vibrant palette in Lucas. Artists showcased by the exhibit include Perri, Maddy Busch, Meg Earll, Caryn Jones, Sarabeth Kendall, Brittany Meredith, Emmy Schollenberger, Greg Van Dyke, Allison Vaught, and Abby Whisler.
The exhibit represents not only a culmination of the students’ hard work over the past years, but also how their artwork has evolved over time and in turn, shaped them.
“I’ve never really understood this, but artwork really does have a mind of its own,” said Perri. “Or, in a way, it’s like God speaking to you through your art,” said Perri.
When Perri initially began to form the black and white ceramic sculpture Curtain out of a foam block prototype, she had expected to complete her portrayal of a collapsing black drape within a month. After four arduous attempts to meld the ceramic waves together—among other procedural challenges, Perri finished the piece three months later—with added appreciation for the piece.
While she’d first developed the piece to embody“a curtain that was crumbling or a life that was falling apart--mimicking my life,” by the end, the sculpture’s structure represent“something degenerating that was coming new again.”
Aspiring art therapist Maddy Busch’s monochromic oil painting on wood, Odile, also surprised its creator with a few personal revelations after its completion.
During her figure gestures class with professor Kayb Joseph this year, Busch knew she wanted to paint a nude from one her favorite ballets, Swan Lake, for an upcoming project. Instead of selecting the heroine of the story, Odette, Busch identified more with the powerful, yet repressed Odile—the infamous “Black Swan” who spends much of the play disguised as Odette. While watching a video of the ballet, Busch seized on a scene where Odile dramatically hauls herself up from a kneeling position and began to sketch the pose.
“Odile seemed underrated to me and I just wanted to see if I could portray the dichotomy of strength and weakness,” said Busch. “So how could I portray this with a single gesture? Odile.”
It was only until Busch brought the piece to her figures class that Joseph showed exactly how the painting conveyed the balance between strength and vulnerability so poignantly. When Joseph covered the left of the painting, Odile appears as though she is collapsing into the dark substance welled at bottom of the piece, but when the right is veiled, the ballerina appears to be lunging forward out of her murky prison, triumphant.
Odile and Curtain, among other pieces, will be on display until the end of exam week.