Michaela Woodward – Staff Writer
Golden Hour, the exhibition for the senior studio art majors opens May 6, Honors Day, at the Hillstrom Museum of Art. The reception is from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. this Saturday. The exhibition is the culminating show for eight Senior Studio Art majors to display the work and artistic vision that they have been cultivating over the past four years at Gustavus. Works on display were juried and selected by faculty from the Art and Art History department as a required component of the studio art program.
The students whose work will be on display are Madeline Campbell, Cora Hentges, Murphy Hollingshead, Hannah Jones, Sage Kiefer, Oleander Meierhoff, Elliot Schroeder, and Taite Stevens-Aldrich. As the artists share a studio space, they have created a collaborative and supportive environment and hosted Night Market events as an artist collective. However, you will not mistake one artist’s work for another’s; the variety of styles and mediums that each artist explores makes for an engaging exhibition.
Cora Hentges will show primarily digital media works.
“I am showing a claymation film, an 8-piece photography series, a poem, and a live-action short film, starring Alex Bretoi,” Hentges said.
Sage Kiefer will be displaying mainly acrylic pieces, such as “This Too Shall Pass” and “That of Celestial Detonation” along with pencil drawings such as “Impression” and “Childhood Bedroom.”
Through the studio art program, Kiefer has felt supported in exploring new art forms while also developing her own unique art style.
“I feel like I really have come into myself here at my time at Gustavus. My art now truly is a reflection of my mind and being. When I first entered the art department I was filled with doubts about making it in the world as an artist and believed that it certainly was not my place. I cannot ever express into words how grateful I am for the art faculty here at Gustavus. They showed me I can do it and have created a safe and nurturing environment for me and my fellow studio art majors to thrive. Though I am excited for future ventures, I will always keep my community here close to my heart. In my work now, I have found my niches but continuously try to push myself onto new avenues. I think the other thing I’ve realized is to not take yourself too seriously. Life is much more enjoyable that way,” Kiefer said.
Being open to new experiences is a sentiment shared by other studio art students.
Hannah Jones finds that being passionate about the work they’re doing helps them the most to grow and explore new styles.
“If you feel connected to the art you’re currently doing, that’s what’s going to help you grow. Don’t do what’s popular just for that reason or what you think others will like. Art is about resonating with yourself. But at the same time, push yourself outside your comfort zone. Find new paths of expression!” Jones said.
Jones will be displaying art that demonstrates figure drawing in abstract and realistic ways. A series about their UCL injury will be in the exhibition.
While Jones does not typically paint hyper-realistic pieces, studying in the studio art program has pushed their technique and creativity within a specific style.
“I’ve kept a relatively “illustrative” style of painting, but I’ve developed it to be a lot cleaner and feel less flat! This allows me to translate real scenarios into my own visual universe,” Jones said.
Additionally, they’ve found the faculty in the Art and Art History department to be a major source of support and encouragement.
“The profs in this department have my whole he(art) and I would kill for them,” Jones said.
The title for the exhibit came about from both aesthetic and symbolic perspectives.
“We all are transfixed by sunsets and then also the bigger symbolic meaning of it as that these are some pretty golden years of our lives. As the sun sets on our undergrad experience, we look back fondly of the times spent making art in our little community,” Kiefer said.
Golden Hour will open on May 6 and run through Commencement, May 27. Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate these Golden Gusties in their golden hour on the hill.