Each year, at the conclusion of their time at St. Olaf, senior art majors undergo the creation of four to seven pieces of art. These pieces, exhibited in the Senior Show, are the culmination of the skills students have mastered over their four years at St. Olaf.
Artists’ themes often have a personal message or demonstrate their experiences and ambitions. As I toured this year’s Senior Show, I was impressed not only by the beautiful art, but also by the range of topics addressed. The artists expressed themselves through their particular medium, artistic style and topic. Some decided to tackle significant issues, including sexuality, race, religion and environmental awareness. Through their evocative works of art, these creators called their audience to action and informed them of a variety of issues.
Memorable pieces included Lesly Damaris Ramos Perez’s ’20 “Atrapada,” which focused on immigrant identity, and Sarah Guilford’s ’20 “A Theater Near You,” which highlighted the lack of minority representation in cinema.
In addition to these important themes, there were also satirical pieces, including Elissa Krauses’s ’20 “The Pink,” which commented on consumerism in America. Other seniors decided to relay personal experiences or beliefs through their exhibits. In these playful and stunning pieces, you can relate to the artists on a personal level and see the world as they do. Less serious exhibits, though just as exceptionally artistic and fun, included Jose Gomez Jr.’s ’20 “Quirks,” an illustrative self-portrait of their unique habits.
Mediums varied between artists and included watercolor, photography, painted glass, sculpture, pottery, acrylic and oil paint. Individual artistic style was also apparent throughout the show; some pieces focused on realism, while others utilized surrealism, satire or advertisement.
The Senior Show is located in the Flaten Art Museum and is open on weekdays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on weekends from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. I would highly recommend supporting these artists and their accomplishments by stopping by to admire their work. There is a short written explanation of the artist’s inspiration and intention next to each work of art. As you take in the exhibit, I encourage you to read these insights and ponder the message of the artists.