Senior art students participate in exhibition through video

At the end of each spring semester, the art department puts together an exhibit filled with works made by seniors majoring in studio arts, art education, or graphic design. This exhibition typically coincides with the Celebration of Student Scholarship (COSS), with the gallery opening on the day as the event. With the move to online learning in the past few weeks, faculty in the art department have been working to find a different way to showcase senior artists and their creations. 

Students in art classes have seen major changes to their classes as Concordia has moved to online learning. Some of these classes require students to be in the art studios to complete their work, while others are able to do their course work from home.

Senior Elly Isaacson, a studio art and psychology double major and art therapy minor, is one of those students who has seen a drastic change to her final semester in the art department.

“I had worked hard, overloading on credits the last three semesters, so that I could fill my spring semester with ceramic courses to devote as much time as possible to the senior show. Unfortunately, without the in person access to the studio, I have basically no way to create pottery anymore,” Isaacson said.

Kara Lee, majoring in graphic design and minoring in business, has been able to continue much of her work from home.

“Graphic design classes are one part working on our projects individually, one part working together as a class to give each other feedback, and one part one-on-one time with the

professor. With classes going online, the first part is easy to continue from home, we are missing out on the beneficial in-person feedback with our peers and professor which typically is where most of the learning happens,” Lee said.

While they lost access to the Cyrus M. Running Gallery to have an art exhibition in the truest sense, art department faculty have worked to put together a few different ways that the seniors will still be able to showcase their hard work.

The first is a video gallery, available on the Gallery Facebook page, which has compiled the works from the students and includes short, recorded artist statements from the seniors themselves talking about their work.

In the video, Professor Chris Mortenson discussed what the second gallery format will look like.

“Later, in May, potentially toward the end of May, we’ll be having an online gallery go up where you’ll be able to walk through a space that looks like a gallery and see everybody’s work as if it were hanging on the walls or sitting on pedestals,” Mortenson said.

Many of the seniors have been working on their pieces for the senior show since the beginning of the school year or earlier. Hannah Kosloski, a senior majoring in communication studies and studio arts, mentioned how many students have had to adjust what their work looks like for the show. 

While we are still able to produce the Senior Show Art Exhibit, it isn’t the same experience. I know a few of us were disappointed because some of the works were going to be fairly large in size, and the effect of the piece isn’t the same. I also know that some students lost access to their studio spaces on campus, so some of us weren’t able to finish or do exactly what we wanted for our thesis projects,” Kosloski said.

The video gallery currently online is bookended by messages from art professors, as well as President and Anne Craft. At the end of the video, Mortenson shared the award winners for the senior art show.

Four students received Merit Awards with a $75 prize. These awards were given to Kara Lee, Emily Van Ravenswaay, Ivy Mattson, and Kaitlin Molden.

Ali Juntunen won the Best in Show Award for Graphic Design. Elly Isaacson won the Best in Show Award for Studio Art. Hannah Kosloski won the Heart’s Purchase Award. These three award winners also received a $150 prize. 

The senior show video is currently available on the Cyrus M. Running Gallery Facebook page. The public can look forward to the virtual gallery as well, which will be available later in May.




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