Senior art show finds beauty in diversity
Noah Fisher will see his paintings in color for the first time this weekend.
The senior art, anthropology and English major is color blind, but thanks to a pair of color-correcting glasses loaned by his grandpa, Fisher will momentarily be able to see the colors he has created.
Colors he conjured using a hairdryer and a blowtorch.
It’s a method Fisher said took him almost a year to perfect, but one he’s eager to see brought to fruition in full color.
“I know what it looks like to me,” Fisher said of his paintings. “But yeah, I’m excited to really see them for the first time.”
Fisher’s paintings are not the only pieces being unveiled this weekend.
The annual senior art show opens today at Augustana’s Eide/Dalrymple Gallery at 7 p.m. An artists’ talk by the 10 senior artists will follow at 7:30 p.m.
For Lindsay Twa, director of the gallery and an art professor, the senior art show is her favorite instillation of the year.
“Artists bloom at different rates,” Twa said. “So this is a phenomenal celebration of these students at their best. We have a group of 10 this year, and they’re about as different as any group of 10 people can be. But they, and their pieces, work really well together.”
Some of those pieces include Evan Richards’ and Julie Vu’s landscape paintings. But as far as landscapes go, the two couldn’t be more different.
Richards, an interdepartmental studies major, said he takes inspiration for his paintings from driving around and taking photos of what he sees. Richards then reduces the photos down to line drawings, converts them to a graphic in Adobe Illustrator and adds color, which he uses as the base for his painting.
What started as a photo of an open field transforms into a series of colors and lines, what Richards calls “reminiscent of a landscape.”
“It’s a transformative process for me,” Richards said. “Painting is when I have fun. Mine is a very interactive form of painting, messing it up in order to fix it.”
Three paintings from Richards’ landscape series found their way into the show, along with two of his graphic design pieces.
Vu, an art and journalism major, also has two landscape paintings in the show, but where Richards’ are pulled from real life, Vu’s paintings come from a place inside of her.
“I’m focusing on rhythm and harmony, color itself,” Vu said. “It’s expressionism. I use a lot of bright colors—I never use black. The colors I use reflect my personality. Energetic. Positive. Bright.”
Vu also has some of her printmaking pieces in the show. Unlike her paintings, these pieces document daily life. They’re a way for Vu to remember her time in her home country of Vietnam, or just everyday life in Sioux Falls.
They’re pieces Vu said are inspired by her experiences but equally influenced by the professors in the Augustana art department and by her fellow student artists.
“We take advice from our professors, and I think we all get influenced a little bit by their work,” Vu said. “But we also learn from each other—that’s the way we learn how to improve. There’s no specific method of how to do something.”
For Fisher that freedom to experiment led him to playing with fire to create color. It helped Vu translate her personality onto paper and it inspired Richards to see beyond what was in front of his lens.
Twa likens this innovative attitude to the visual equivalent of speaking multiple languages.
“For artists in 2017, anything goes,” Twa said. “But it needs to be good. These artists have accomplished that. I would really encourage people to come and see their work. As double and triple majors, these 10 are really a poster for Augustana and the liberal arts in action.”