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.”