Art Retrospective: Seniors Celebrate Four Years of Work and Growth

A student viewing artwork at the show. (Photo by Daniel Fremen.)

A student viewing artwork at the show. (Photo by Daniel Fremen.)

Senior year for Covenant students is a time of looking forward to post-grad opportunities, but also looking backward at the things accomplished and the growth experienced over the past four years of life. For art majors, the perfect opportunity to reflect on the work done during their time here occurs each Fall when the Art Department hosts the Senior Retrospective Show.

This show is a collection of the senior art students’ favorite pieces made during their undergraduate studies in the Art Department. Alongside the works displayed in the library are biographies of each artist, briefly introducing their background, the faculty and experiences which have informed their work, and the mediums they prefer to work with.

As a result, Retrospective is an opportunity to both witness some of the best work done at Covenant in the past four years and to get to know a little about the students who have dedicated their time to making it.

This year, nine art majors are included in the senior class. Jemima Barr (2D concentration) submitted a mixed media project, photographs, and oil paintings. Rachel Gatewood (Photography) displayed cyanotypes, darkroom photographs, and a 3D sculpture. Cosi Goodman (Communication Design) submitted photographs, collages, and digital design work. Rebekah Gravitt’s work included a ceramics sculpture, wire sculptures, prints, and collages. Marijke Griffin (Communication Design) submitted prints, digital design pieces, and a wearable art piece made of bread. Stephanie Lutz (Communication Design) displayed a cyanotype waterfall, a digital collage, and several photograph process pieces. Mary Grace Newsome (Communication Design) submitted photographs, collages, and ink drawings. Abi Ogle (both 2D & 3D) entered works that included large oil paintings, ink drawings, and fibers pieces. Alexa Whitman (Art History) submitted an installation piece of her ballet shoes, a wearable art piece, and several collages.

This year’s show is a diverse display of what Covenant’s Art Department has to offer, filling Kresge’s gallery and the lobby of Lucas Art Workshop with pieces of all sizes and color pallets. Viewing the range of different talents and mediums will leave visitors in awe of the artists’ skills and of the number of different ways art can be made. The Retrospective show is also memorable for the sheer number of stories which are hinted at within it. Each of the 50 + pieces on display was made for a reason, and reflects some moment or experience in the artist’s life. While no one person can know all of the stories behind all of the pieces, the show invites its visitors to momentarily enter the various narratives which the artists have chosen to share.

Not all of the pieces are clearly attributed to a certain artist, and part of the fun of visiting the retrospective is guessing which pieces belong to which student. If you are familiar with the classes offered by the Art Department, it is enjoyable to try and figure out what class each piece was made in. As someone who knows one of the seniors well, recalling the times when they were making each piece on display is, for me, a sweet opportunity to recall specific periods of our time at Covenant together.

It is important to note that the retrospective does not include any S.I.P.s. Rather, it is a celebration of the work students have put into developing their mediums of choice over the years in preparation for making their S.I.P. pieces this coming spring. If you plan on attending the series of shows next semester where S.I.P.s are displayed, the retrospective show is an excellent introduction to the artists who will be on display and the body of work they have already produced.

The Senior Retrospective Show, split between the upstairs library gallery and the Lucas Art Workshop, will be on display through the end of the semester. Consider stopping by for a study break on a reading day, or between finals, and spend some time appreciating the range of artistic talent these nine artists have to offer.