The University of Olivet’s Riethmiller Blackman Art Building is home to the Kresge Foundation Art Gallery where exhibitions by artists from throughout the surrounding communities and state present their work over the academic year. However, the final show of each year rises above all others. This show is the annual Senior Exhibition where graduating seniors from the visual arts program display collections of their artwork from their four years as students. The 2017 exhibit, “This End is Our Beginning,” will host work from five graphic design graduates: Cassie Brown, Patrick Donovan, Evan Hoshaw, Lacey Risner and Chris Sudduth.
“It is undoubtedly true that these students have grown and developed their technical skills throughout their time at Olivet,” said Gary Wertheimer, professor of art. “When students are challenged, that is when they improve and growth happens.” Patrick confirmed that the professors encouraged a hard working environment by saying, “Nothing comes easy and not everyone is going to like what you do.”
The exhibit is available to view through May 20, 2017, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or by appointment. In addition, the artists’ reception, featuring refreshments and the opportunity to meet the artists and the art faculty members, will be held on Friday, April 21, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
During each students’ junior year, they begin developing a thematic project by gathering previously created pieces of artwork and planning for the upcoming pieces they need to produce to complete the project and display over the remainder of their time in the classroom. Works by the graduates include a variety of sculptures, prints, paintings, drawings, ceramics and even digital art, many of which are available for purchase. In addition, the students work together to frame and matte their work, organize the display and physically hang the pieces.
“I cannot thank my professors enough for making a curriculum that fit me as a student,” said Chris. “Graphic Design is still a fairly new major, so there were constant changes being made to continue developing the program in ways that helped students learn and become successful. I will miss the sense of family Olivet is constantly building, leaving it feels like leaving a home.”