Open Studio exhibition features artwork of graduating seniors at AU

Mon, 2013-04-15 10:04 -- univcomm
April 15, 2013

"Open Studio" signals both an ending and a beginning.

As the Senior Art+Design Exhibition of nine graduating Anderson University seniors, the diverse collection culminates years of academic study, and signals the launch of a new life for each artist.

“Open Studio” is on exhibit now through May 10 at the Jessie C. Wilson Galleries on the Anderson campus. [Photo: Melissa Stritch stands next to her letterpress "Melissa & Danny" that is hanging in the Anderson University student art exhibit.]

The works of Yhareli Chamboneth, Erika Chaney, Stephanie Cochran, Maggie Durbin, Candice Huntsman Kimmi Klotz, Fred Learey, Nathan Schwecke, Melissa Strich, make a diverse display of creativity. The artists not only produced the works for the exhibit, they planned, promoted and hung the show under the direction of adjunct professor Tai Lipan, director of the Jessie C. Wilson Galleries.

“They worked really well together concepting the show,” said Lipan, of the show that embraces design, 3D installations, paintings and digital works. “It looks good.”

“They’ve done a great job,” agreed department chair and professor of art Kevin Rudynski. He noted that the show “reflects the individual interests and commitments of the students.” At the same time, the students designed a show that integrates those diverse pursuits and media.

“I’m excited about it,” said exhibiting artist Melissa Strich. “It’s a really cool thing that we have this huge mix.”

Strich’s contributions to the Open Studio Exhibition showcase her graphic design focus.

“We study a lot of graphics and typography and design methods. ... We take something ordinary and make it look fantastic,” said Strich of her studies in the Visual Communication Design concentration. “In the show, I have three wedding suites I’ve designed, and letterpress printed all of them.”

She noted that the materials are much higher quality as well as more representative of the wedding couples themselves than could be purchased cheaply through an online source.

Strich originally hails from Indianapolis. She’ll be looking for employment ideally in a print shop or in stationery design.

Maggie Durbin brings an entirely differently flavor to the exhibition.

“I am a fine art painter mostly working in abstraction. Some would say I’m a colorist,” said Durbin. The artist uses both acrylics and oils to achieve her color and textural goals.

“Mainly, I’m exploring a personal narrative… Painting for me is the closest to prayer.” She observes that her art is “definitely a very meditative kind of process.”

Upon graduation, Maggie will return to her home town of Hamilton, Ohio, also known as a city of sculpture. She’ll be working there while pursuing her art career.

Students to discuss works

Stephanie Cochran is a 3-D sculptor who works in glass. Look for her insects in the exhibit.

“They have other meanings than the obvious,” said Cochran. In her art, she uses insects as metaphors for social subjects, ecological issues or personal history.

Cochran, 50, landed in the Department of Art+Design program after a whole other career.

“I quit my job and sold our farm and moved here and just did it,” she said. “My family was behind it 100 percent.” Cochran will attend Ball State University for graduate work in sculpture and glass.

The other exhibitors similarly demonstrate their unique work through various media. Yhareli Chamboneth, from Panama, works in both print and digital media. Her exhibits include informational graphics describing statistical research about children of non-US citizens.

Erika Chaney, from Fortville, Ind., exhibits the fruits of her graphic design capabilities via materials developed for a local non-profit relative to children’s education.

Candice Huntsman, of St. Louis, Mo., works with collage and computer imagery in graphic design.

Kimmi Klotz, from Anderson, exhibits handmade greeting cards created through printmaking.

Fred Learey, from Indianapolis, developed and digitally created travel posters with a retro quality, inspired by his study travels abroad.

Nathan Schwecke, of Cincinnati, Ohio, designed and created “wayfinding” signage.

The artists will discuss their work and be available for questions during gallery talks on April 16 and 18 from 6 to 8 p.m.

— Nancy R. Elliott is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Photo credit: Don Knight. Story republished with permission.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.