Gordon in the News: last updated 06/13/2011

Twenty Theses

Senior art majors at Gordon select a personal artistic direction and a thesis theme during the fall as they participate in the departmental Art and Vocation course. In their final spring semester, with a faculty mentor’s guidance, they develop a body of work culminating in a gallery exhibit in the Barrington Center for the Arts.

Each student provides an artist’s statement about their work and processes. Here are several students’ statements, accompanied by representative images from their exhibits.

Kiwa Takatsu | Sand and Water
Sand and Water references the nature of the mineral pigments I used: The pigments are powdered, and the binder (hide glue) is water based. Mineral pigments seem to be somewhere between oil/acrylic paints and watercolor—considerably lighter than oil paints, but not as light and thin as watercolors. A lot of layering of colors has happened in the process of creating each painting, and even though the earliest layers almost disappear, none of them are completely hidden. The layering not only deepens the colors but also creates a subtly sculptural feeling in areas where a lot of the powdered pigments are laid.

Because I am not yet experienced with this peculiar medium, I planned to paint still-life pieces to let myself have a fair amount of control over the subjects. What came out in the end was a crossover between still-life and slightly abstract, imagined environments; I allowed myself to stray from the initial ideas so it could unlock for me what the medium is capable of doing. All the paintings look very different from what I originally had in mind, but the processes of ideas changing and developing are recorded in every painting.

Annelise Midland | melankoli

In my work I seek to respond to my observations of the natural world as perceived in both the social and the physical realms. From the colors I use, to the use of textures and media—primarily of wood and other natural materials—I want to try to connect pieces I have taken from bits of experience that have shaped how I am.

I draw most of my themes from nature, and my color palette of mustard yellows, dark oranges, maroon and teal blues from my observations of the colors of the houses that lined the bay in Bergen, Norway, where I grew up, as well as the household objects containing these colors. I incorporate both Nordic and Navajo patterns, reflecting nature both in the wilderness as well as in human nature.

By using mixed media, learned by my exploration in cross-disciplinary study in studio classes, I draw from sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking and design. By sculpting into the wood, I hope to return it back to its original state in nature and contrast this “look” with that of the flat design and painting on the wood panels that will surround it.

Anna Taylor | Common
This show is a collaboration of five artists exploring the universality of narrative plot structure as it unfolds in the individual and collective experience. My piece focuses on climax.

There is a moment, at once both seamless and fragmented, where chance and choice combine. Forward motion pauses as the past journey explodes into beautiful but terrifying focus, and the long-hoped-for resolution begins to reveal itself. However, within the idea of climax lies an inherent tension—the same tension we would face if we had scaled a peak. For even as we catch our breath and watch a beautiful vista unfold breathtakingly below, the dangers of the peak become evident. We are buffeted by fierce winds, gnawed by frigid temperatures, and alarmed by gathering clouds that threaten to obscure clear vision and confuse. Insomuch as reaching the climax reveals a hope for resolution, it also contains the potential for great destruction. Hope and peril, anticipation and despair all coalesce at this point. Scale, media, chance and deliberation unite to create these tensions within my work.

Sarah Nenno | Resurfacing
Memory is fluid. Memories surface to our surprise, and sink when unaware. There are moments we long to relive and others we'd rather not dwell on. When memory is triggered, our recollected past is influenced by a new context and environment that either subtly or greatly inhabits elements of the present. At the same time, it has the power to completely transport an individual back to times and places that were otherwise lost and forgotten.

Student exhibitions are broken up into four groups and run through May 21:

RECEPTION: April 16, 4–6 p.m.
EXHIBIT DATES: April 18–28, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
ARTISTS: Garrett Ames-Ledbetter, Carissa Gerber, Christine Marineau, Anna Taylor, Angela Witmore

RECEPTION: April 30, 4–6 p.m.
EXHIBIT DATES: May 2–5, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
ARTISTS: Laura Ells, Emily Lefferts, Lydia Nenno, Sarah Nenno, Kiwa Takatsu

RECEPTION: May 7, 4–6 p.m.
EXHIBIT DATES: May 9–12, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
ARTISTS: Ryan Clark, Zach Frey, Natalia Gutierrez, Annelise Midland, Abi Solberg

RECEPTION: May 14, 1–3 p.m.
EXHIBIT DATES: May 16–21, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
ARTISTS: Lauren Barker, Corinne Grant, Julia Ham, Denise Walter, Amanda Wright