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The artwork of senior Phoebe Kalthoff and ten other seniors will be displayed in the Daughtrey Gallery Senior Art Show April 3-2. Phoebe Kalthoff | Courtesy
The artwork of senior Phoebe Kalthoff and ten other seniors will be dis­played in the Daughtrey Gallery Senior Art Show April 3 – 2. Phoebe Kalthoff | Courtesy

Eleven grad­u­ating art majors’ work will be fea­tured in this year’s Senior Art Show, which opens April 3 in the Daughtrey Gallery at the Sage Center for the Arts.

The exhibit is divided into three sep­arate blocks, each lasting five days. The first, from April 3 – 8, will feature seniors Eliz­abeth Davis, Faith Lamb, Jordan Denmark, and Tricia Clarey. The second will be April 10 – 15 and fea­tures seniors Joel Calvert, Meg Prom and Tracy Brandt. The third will be April 17 – 22 and fea­tures seniors Phoebe Kalthoff, Ben Strickland, Heather Buell, and Forester McClatchey. The exhibits will display a wide range of student work in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, pho­tog­raphy, and graphic design.

Senior Ben Strickland’s focus is pho­tog­raphy, specif­i­cally long-exposure land­scapes. He said Douglas Coon, pho­tog­rapher and pro­fessor of art, cul­ti­vated his love of art while leaving room for per­sonal cre­ativity.

“He’s so tal­ented,” Strickland said. “He knows what to assign you to make you want to do more of that thing. They will tell you when it’s bad, which is what an artist needs. Art teachers exist because they are masters of what they do. But at the same time, Pro­fessor Coon keeps it fun.”  

The exhibit is the final project of stu­dents taking the Senior Exhibit and Port­folio class, co-taught by Artist and Teacher Bryan Springer and Pro­fessor of Art Samuel Knecht.

“It’s a cap­stone course to every­thing they’ve learned over the last four years,” Springer said. “We help them with self-pro­motion. The stu­dents interview pro­fes­sional artists and write an artist’s statement. They are required to submit a port­folio to the arts department for archiving. It all cul­mi­nates in the senior exhibit. Throughout their four years at Hillsdale, art stu­dents are encouraged to matte and frame their fin­ished work for the all-school exhibit, and a portion of that work will be included in the upcoming show.”  

While rewarding, seeing a cul­mi­nation of one’s own work of four years can be intim­i­dating.

“It’s encour­aging due to growth I’ve seen at Hillsdale in my art,” senior Eliz­abeth Davis said. “But at the same time, it’s a little scary because it is four years of work. You think there would be more progress. It’s a hard process. Cre­ating is hard, and it can be dis­cour­aging. Art is a process of problem solving. It’s enjoyable and hard.”

Senior Phoebe Kalthoff agreed that the process is dif­ficult.

“There’s always a chal­lenge going into the studio, but I still love the process,” she said.

Senior Forester McClatchey will be dis­playing mostly oils and drawings. He said he had no pre­vious expe­rience with oils before attending Hillsdale, so he took the oppor­tunity to acquaint himself with the medium.

The pro­fessors encouraged the stu­dents to

choose to exhibit alongside others with diverse interests to com­plement each other’s work.

“I would encourage people to come,” Kalthoff said. “My class­mates are so won­derful. They put so much work into it. The exhibits last for only a few days, so come to each.”