Michaela Woodward – Staff Writer
Gustavus students, Junior Monse Barrios and Seniors Hannah Jones, Sage Kiefer, and Oleander Meierhoff are having their art displayed at the 410 Gallery in Mankato for their Annual Juried Exhibition.
Artists were able to submit up to three pieces to display, and the show contains work from over 80 artists. All art that was submitted was accepted for display and there were jurors who awarded first, second, and third place as well as honorable mentions.
“It is the biggest show that I have been a part of. It is also the first show I have been in that doesn’t give a significant amount of space between the works, it was more of a maximalist gallery setup. This style of hanging is my favorite. It is so fun to see my pieces nestled into others’ outstanding works,” Kiefer said.
Kiefer submitted art from her fall capstone.
“I am showing two pieces from my capstone this fall, one titled That of Celestial Detonation which is acrylic on canvas and This too Shall Pass which is acrylic on paint swatches displayed on a wood board. This series is meant to capture intense and fleeting ephemeral moments through color, movement, and light. The other work I am exhibiting is called metamorphosis, which is an abstract figurative piece that I created over J-term and employs neon colors contrasted with a phthalo undertone,” Kiefer said.
Meierhoff’s pieces are ceramic sculptures.
“I am showing three ceramic pieces- one pinch-pot, a coil-built cylinder, and a slab-rolled cylinder. Two of the pieces contain fake teeth, while the third piece is covered in holes. These pieces are intended to depict some of my personal feelings influenced by living with OCD and how it has created an exaggerated fear of germs/contagion,” Meierhoff said.
While all the seniors in the show are art majors, Barrios has recently discovered her passion for art and her desire to shape her future plans around it.
“I never thought that this year I was going to declare a minor in art, far less submit any of my current artwork to the 410 project community gallery,” Barrios said.
“Before this past year, I did not have any academic experience with art. My journey has been very wild, with ups and downs. It has definitely been worth it though, I can no longer live without art,” Barrios said.
Barrios has an acrylic painting and two mixed-media pieces in the show.
“I still do not have a specific media I prefer working with. I very much love working with various mediums,” Barrios said.
The variety of works in the gallery and working with the larger artistic community outside of Gustavus was a highlight for these students featured.
“I had a lot of fun seeing everyone’s art at the opening. The submissions were extremely diverse in both medium and skill levels. Some were professionally trained artists, while others primarily did art as a hobby. All of the work was gorgeous and I loved the diversity in mediums and subject matter,” Meierhoff said.
“During the opening exhibition, we met so many wonderful artists within the community, and this was one of the first opportunities post-Covid to interact with other artists outside the Gustavus community. I had so many intriguing conversations, both with artists that submitted works and also just the public that was viewing the exhibition. Overall, it really was about the community that was my favorite part of the overall experience, so many wonderful thinkers and creatives all together in the same room to celebrate art,” Kiefer said.
This gallery shows that there is always room for more art in the world and that everyone is capable of creating it.
“If you know you are passionate about art and love it, what are you waiting for? Is never too late to create art. Follow what makes you happy and passionate within this mysterious world. The only thing you need is a mind with infinite possibilities and hopeful imagination,” Barrios said.