Senior art thesis exhibitions explore philosophy and process

The first 2021 senior art exhibition, “Blueprint,” is open now until April 23 in the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center (JDAC) and features work by four Hastings College seniors. The artists will give a lecture on their work Sunday, April 11 at 11:00 a.m. in the Wilson Center with a gallery reception to follow in the JDAC.

This senior showcase includes paintings created by art major and political science minor Sam Crossett of Sandpoint, Idaho; sculptures created by art major and philosophy minor Benjamin Friend of Lincoln, Nebraska; photography by art and marketing double major Olivia Arden of Yorba Linda, California; and intaglio and monotype prints by art and psychology double major Karlie Norton of Littleton, Colorado.

Crossett uses oil painting to discuss self confrontation, advocacy and moral pluralism and its importance in health through self portraits. Friend uses repetitive processes and custom algorithms to create structures from wood and steel. 

“These sculptures explore the relationship between change from stimulus outside of one’s control and a self determined path,” said Friend. 

Inspired by the vibrant colors and life found on the West Coast, Arden is exhibiting “The Comfort Zone,” which depicts midwest domestic architecture in a new light. 

“There is an exigency for comfort and stability during these uncertain times. We’ve maxed out on complexity; we are living it,” Ardyn said. “The angles and shapes throughout my work echo each other and are in communication with one another, merely hinting at a potential story. The refreshing simplicity of The Comfort Zone is my way of paying the comfort I find in our everyday surroundings forward.”

Norton has had work included in multiple juried exhibitions at HC and the O’Keefe Elevator Company. For her thesis show, Norton chose intaglio and monotype prints that “work towards creating a representation of embodied cognition, a psychological theory, which suggests that our thought processes and learning are impacted by our bodies and in turn, our minds by our bodies.” 

With hands as subject matter, Norton said her work “celebrates this subconscious exchange. Interwoven gestures attempt to report on complex thoughts and emotions.”

A second senior art thesis show will open April 28 and run through Sunday, May 16.  Lectures for the second group of studio art thesis students will be held on May 2 at 11:00 am in the Wilson auditorium with a gallery reception to follow.