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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.”