Leaving their mark: Senior artists on display
For most seniors, “thesis” is a dirty word. For eight members of the senior class, “thesis” comes to life on the walls of the H.F. Johnson Art Gallery as a showcase of self-expression and artistic skill. The Current sat down with five of these talented powerhouses to explore the process behind this multifaceted art show.
The Current: So, where did the idea behind your thesis come from?
Griffin Youngstrum: “It’s pretty much been happening for four years now. It solidified in February, and I knew I wanted to do screen-printing ever since a professor took the time to teach me how…I wasn’t even in the class, and he just showed me. It’s a really fast and efficient way to produce a lot of art.”
Cristal Tucker: “I speak two languages, so I’m used to repeating everything twice. I just started repeating things…I like numbers even though I hate math and all the numbers in all of my pieces mean something to me, even if it’s not visible to the naked eye. I also started playing with subliminal messaging.”
Chuck Lewis: “The majority of my idea came from being a double major in art and graphic design. I assumed that my audience wouldn’t speak five or six languages, so the meaning of the words I chose aren’t immediately accessible. It forces people to look at the word on the visual level.”
Cassidy Reinhard: “I’ve always loved photography, but the darkroom class here at Carthage really showed me what I could do with it. I like to catch the real, and I don’t like to alter it too much with Photoshop. I also didn’t want the finished product to look like a gallery—I wanted something quirky and fun.”
Kayleen Hannigan: “I took a landscape class when I was living in Munich, and my professor was really big on ‘just get out and draw.’ All of my pieces are places I’ve lived, whether in Munich, Kenosha or at home. I like focusing on the environment and showing the beauty of it with just a pencil.”
TC: What are your plans for after college?
GY: “I’m going to intern at an art museum in Racine, and hopefully keep looking for a better job the lets me create. I’m also going to keep screen-printing.”
CT: “I have an internship at a gallery in Chicago, and I’m going to start looking at grad schools in a year or two.”
CL: “I actually have no idea. Hopefully find work at a video/production company or something like that. Most probably just focusing on my art and production technique.”
CR: “I’m going to try and look for a job to combine my two majors [art and marketing].”
KH: “I’m actually a Fulbright Scholar, and I’m going to be teaching English in Germany for a full year. After that, I’m not really sure.”
TC: If money wasn’t an issue, what would you do with your art?
GY: “I really just want to make free screen prints for people…just give them out, and hopefully they end up on someone’s bedroom wall.”
CT: “I want to put my art everywhere…I just want people to see it and think about it and hopefully it makes them look for art in other places. My art is kind of a reality check.”
CL: “I would still create and make things…it’s not really about money, more like a creative outlet.”
CR: “Just take pictures of whatever I want…and enjoy it.”
KH: “Travel to every beautiful place and draw it. And promote landscape as a living art.”
The senior art show will be in the gallery until May 12, and it is definitely worth checking out. Eight theses. Eight different stories. Go in with an open mind and a free hour or two. Play with the interactive pieces. Read the artist statements. Find a piece that makes sense. Learn about another human, and listen to what they’re trying to say.