NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The annual Senior Art Exhibit at Bethel College includes the work of Jessie Pohl, Moundridge, and Tiana Williams, Kalona, Iowa.
The show opened May 2 in the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center with paintings by both Pohl and Williams.
Pohl will also show smaller three-dimensional pieces during the reception, May 15 from 7-9 p.m. outside the gallery.
Each of Pohl’s paintings in the senior show are part of one of several series, or “environment,” as she calls it.
“My goal is to capture a story through multiple paintings,” she said. “In the past, I would make one painting with one story and it never had the desired effect.
“For the Senior Art Show, I wanted to expand that idea of a story and turn it into an environment. A story has a beginning and an end, but an environment has several beginnings [and] several middles and hardly ever ends.”
Of the smaller creations that she will show on May 15, Pohl said, “I wanted the Senior Art Show to have a relaxed atmosphere like a convention. At art conventions, artists have large pieces but smaller projects such as buttons and comics that invite the audience in.
“Looking back on my paintings, I realized [many] were very large and had content that many people may not be comfortable with. To balance this, I created hand-made comics, coloring books and paper fortune-tellers for people to see, smell and touch.”
The collection of paintings that Williams is showing all have to do with different aspects of the human body.
“With my body of work – no pun intended – my idea was to accentuate, exaggerate and glorify the curves and waves of the human body,” Williams said. “[The collection is] technically a self-portrait [with] my main focus looking at body image and self-worth.
“The final pieces of my show embody the spirit of being at peace in your own skin. What I would like the message of this collection, as a whole, to convey is the value and worth each human holds, outward and inward. No matter what shape, color, texture or size, all bodies are beautiful.”
Pohl will graduate May 17 with a B.A. in art. Williams’ graduation date is uncertain, but her degree will also be a B.A. in art. They are students of David Long, professor of art, and Rachel Epp Buller, associate professor of visual art and design.
The seniors’ exhibit will be open through May 17. The May 15 reception is part of Commencement Weekend celebrations. The public is welcome.
Regular gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 2-4 p.m. Extra hours for commencement weekend are Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. There is no admission charge.
Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2014-15 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2014-15. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.