Things can get messy when senior art major, Elsa Lagerquist, is dying fabrics. Elsa Lagerquist. | Courtesy

What do you get when stu­dents studying art, English, Latin, and math walk into a gallery?

“Ars Poetica,” the poetic arts — a ref­erence to the Horace poem.

The senior art show fea­turing Katie Dav­enport, Madeline Greb, and Elsa Lagerquist begins Sunday with a reception from 6 – 8 p.m. fea­turing the artists, food, and music. Show­casing the women’s best pieces from their four years of college, the gallery fea­tures more than 50 works, many of which draw their inspi­ration from lit­er­ature, film, and graphic novels. The show runs through April 19 in the Sage Center for the Arts’ Daughtery Gallery.

“We’re all inspired by stories and nar­ra­tives,” Greb said. “That’s the thing that unites all of our work. We’re all inspired by telling a story.”

Barbara Bushey, the art department chair­woman, said Dav­enport, Greb, and Lagerquist are all hard­working and that their under­standing of other dis­ci­plines has given them knowledge to connect their artwork with lit­er­ature and dif­ferent sub­jects.

“They have a deeper verbal under­standing of things than many artists,” Bushey said. “They can take their visual ideas and translate them to other verbal things such as a novel.”

Davenport’s col­lection will feature several drawings, specif­i­cally many of her illus­tra­tions inspired by some of her favorite pieces of lit­er­ature such as Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Pun­ishment.” She has a water­color painting based on T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland,” as well.

Dav­enport will also have several land­scape paintings from her travels to Nicaragua on mis­sionary trips and to Israel. Closer to home, she is including a piece of Downtown Hillsdale.

Dav­enport said having gallery space is nice, but some­thing she has learned being an art major is that it is okay to fail.

“You have an image of some­thing in your head, and then it won’t turn out like that,” Dav­enport said. “Before, I might say, ‘Why bother?’ But you learn from each failure. You get tools for the next one.”

Dav­enport now is preparing the tools she will need when she leaves for the country Georgia after grad­u­ation to teach English. She said she thinks her artistic abil­ities will come in handy.

“Art breaks the lan­guage barrier,” she said. “You draw some­thing, and everyone knows what it is, no matter what lan­guage you speak.”

Greb, the triple major in the group, said her pieces include several pho­tographs and graphics as well as a couple of drawings, paintings, and some hanging scrolls paintings on which she has worked.

Greb said her interests in Latin and math are useful in her artwork.

“They all sharpen your obser­vation skills,” Greb said. “In Latin, you’re syn­the­sizing details into a whole. In math, you’re doing lots and lots of iter­a­tions to get closer to the answer. The same is true in drawing.”

After grad­u­ation, Greb said she hopes to teach English in South Korea.

As for Lagerquist, she said tex­tiles interest her. In addition to some paintings, many of her pieces are surface repeats — pat­terns that could go on forever — that would translate well to fabrics. For her Col­le­giate Scholars thesis, Lagerquist even took a five-day, 30-hour project to sew a dress inspired by the Henry James novel “The Por­trait of a Lady,” which she is con­tem­plating putting in the gallery.

After grad­u­ation, Lagerquist will move to South Bend, Indiana, to teach sixth-grade girls lit­er­ature and maybe art, too.

“It’s been really neat to look at all the work from the past four years and enjoy them all,” Lagerquist said. “Seeing the body work, I get to learn more about myself, what I like, my style, and choices.”


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Breana Noble
Breana Noble is The Collegian's Editor-in-Chief. She is a born and raised Michigander and studies politics and journalism. This summer, Breana interned in New York City at TheStreet, a business and finance news website. She has previously worked for The Detroit News, The American Spectator, and Newsmax Media. She eventually hopes to pursue a career in investigative journalism. email: | twitter: @RightandNoble