Art is not an easy creation for some people. It can require inspiration and a passion for the media you are working with. But for Senior Art Studio Majors Leif Erik Estenson, Karl Brudvig, Miranda Bickett, Olivia Thao Nguyen, See Thor, and Margit Bren, art is their passion.
These six seniors have had their art work juried by the faculty of the art department and Hillstrom Museum Direc- tor Don Myers to have their art displayed in the Hillstrom Museum for the Senior Art Ma- jors Exhibition. Look At That Art Attack will run May 4 through June 2, 2013.
Art Majors took a senior seminar class with Assistant Professor of Art Kristen Lowe where they have the opportunity to greatly develop their artistic voice.
“There is no in depth experience until senior seminar,” Lowe said.
Having art in the Hillstrom Museum is the capstone of art students experience at Gustavus. It holds all the things that go into being a professional artist—putting the pieces together, framing, artist’s statements. As art students get into the upper level classes, they start to evaluate their own work.
“It is very exciting to see when a student breaks through and turns a corner in creativity,” Lowe said.
The students in this show have worked for a long time on their pieces to get to this climatic event. “I’ve been working since junior year, not on what is being shown, but the culminating event of the experience—to show the representation of me through art,” Leif Estenson said.
Leif has a series of abstract paintings entitled “These Planes Will Take You There.” They are a place for meditation and reflection, a reminiscence of ideas—not identifiable—but a place to find yourself. His inspiration came from a desire to better understand himself and for others to understand themselves as well.
Many of the other artists also have a deep, meaningful inspiration for their artwork. Margit Bren has five oil paintings in the exhibit.
“All my paintings revolve around a common theme that isn’t necessarily ‘fun’ to talk about: abuse. All my works strive to unearth strong emotions within the viewer,” said Bren said.
See Thor’s oil paintings “are focused around the idea of deep human emotions explored in the form of an semi-abstract landscape and a fantasical rep- resentation. [My] inspiration in the making of these pieces is the emotional and mental states of life experiences. Each piece explores a different idea, thought, and feeling,” Thor said.
As seen by these artists, art has a very big impact on everyday life.
“It has the power to really move people and make them aware of the human experience—emotionally and intellectually—[artists] want others to have the same experience,” Museum Director Don Myers said.
“This is a really great exhibit with great works,” Meyers said. “It shows great vitality of the art program and creativity of the students.”
Some of the pieces are also for sale. Four of the works have already been purchased by the Art Department.
After the Hillstrom Exhibit, the students organize a pop up show where they locate an unused space in the community, organize the exhibition and present themselves and their art to the broader community. This event “offers students autonomy and brings art into untraditional spaces where people don’t expect to see art and starts dialog with people who aren’t always museum goers” said Lowe. It also is a way for students to learn to create their own opportunities after graduation. This year’s pop up show Is entitled Fresh Grilled Art. It will take place at the Lonestar Bar and Grill from May 8-15.