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ISSUE 120 VOL 20 PUBLISHED 5/4/2007

Seniors show 'Caught in the Act'

By Andrea Horbinski
Staff Writer

Friday, May 4, 2007

On Sunday, April 29, members of the St. Olaf community gathered in the Flaten Art Museum for the unveiling of the final senior art exhibition, "Caught in the Act." The show featured the work of those senior art majors who did not participate in the first exhibition two weeks ago.

"Caught in the Art" seems more diverse even than its highly variegated predecessor this year, both in the seniors' chosen media and the subjects their artworks addressed. The works of Peter Halquist and Brooke Petersennorth made the North gallery in particular feel far more crowded than it did during "Comrades in Art," which displayed two weeks ago.

Halquist's piece "Wildness" explored "humanity's complicity in nature" through a fountain made of industrial elements which circulated waste-colored water into a pool below. Peterson's "Weeping Willow" considered the common lack of time to wonder at nature by recreating a willow tree out of fabric; a video of microorganisms collected from an actual tree was projected onto the fabric leaves, with enough space for attendees to step.

The nature theme was continued by Kate Westby, whose series of ceramic and bronze sculptures represented tree branches; Emily Eder, who created a series of wood-framed intaglio prints with saplings in test tubes displayed below them; and arguably Phang Nguyen, whose mixed media drawings explored the human connection to landscapes.

Among those working in traditional media, Jenna Ericson's "Heartstrings" offered several large paintings considering fragile human connections through color and semi-abstraction. In her series of "Family Portraits," Holly Grimsrud presented her family members, mottled with colors and shapes, in oil. Erin Johnson explored experience, the past, memory and the present through her series of figure drawings in crayon and oil mixed with collages of words.

Kristen Roys, influenced by her time studying abroad in India, presented mixed media drawings and several small sculptures exploring Indian and American religious elements. Also influenced by her time abroad was Jill Rowan, who created striking three-dimensional representations of the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet glazed with Middle Eastern designs.

Sara Lundberg's oil paintings and wood sculpture on wall scrolls explored human experience through the lens of an alien character's life. Susan Kamholz focused on the ages of the human through a series of fused-glass necklaces, displayed on sculpted torsos, with the human heart as the central element in each. Carolyn McCardell tackled self-identity through pieces combining manipulated photos of herself with tulle fabric.

Sara Pray presented a music video featuring self-composed music reflecting time, waiting, day and night, and their opposites; the video's footage consisted of Pray sitting in a graffiti mural, also displayed in the gallery, waiting. Luke Foss explored the boundary between motion and motionless through prints of in-motion photographs and videos of motion and stillness.

Marissa Grotte analyzed a verbal concept, the anti-cliché, through mixed media including old advertisements featuring anti-clichés. Grotte wrote herself, such as "more fun than apparel of monkeys." Heidi Henricksen returned to a metaphor she created in sixth grade, that of her family history as a patchwork quilt, to create four white dresses using quilting elements in honor of her four aunts.

All in all, "Caught in the Art," which runs until May 7, is an embarrassment of riches, aptly summed up by Chloe Cotherman, whose artwork ran in the previous exhibition: "I am in awe of my colleagues sometimes," she said.

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