Senior Student Art Projects: Beautiful and Meaningful

As the year is wrapping to a close, the EMU community still has many opportunities to experience some amazing offerings on campus by highly talented students. Seniors have completed their final works in preparation for graduation, and as a result there are a plethora of great eclectic offerings available for perusal. The Senior Art show is a fine example.

The Margaret Martin Gehman Art Gallery now displays the works of Leah Pannapacker, HanGeon Park, and Molly Kraybill and the sensory experience created by Aly Zimmerman can be found in the library.

The show features a variety of styles with exceptional talent prevailing throughout. Pannapacker chose to create a photo gallery featuring documentary portraiture and symbolism.

The models each hold a small rock painted with a word that is foundational to them and holds a unique and special meaning. Some examples of these words include, “Shy”, “Happy” and “Enthusiastic”. The adjectives coupled with the varying emotions of the faces of the models create a beautiful and revealing show. Pannapacker said, “This was my primary goal for these photographs to let my audience see a part of my subjects life.”

The symbolism of a strong foundation and the idea of God as our rock adds intensity to the display and meaning to the portraits. Pannapacker said, “I wanted to show my viewers my model’s characteristics because not always do they get a say in pictures. God gave us all unique characteristic and different ways of expressing and using them. In the same way God is our strength in our times of trouble.”

First year, Elena Yoder said, “I just think its super cool and original. I love seeing such real people”.

Park uses an entirely different medium in “Trace” to capture bodies, expression and light. Park noted that with the fluid poses of the subject’s body, visualization of light and movement could be deeply captured and expressed. This display juxtaposes the other works as the photos are entirely shot in grey, black and white tones. The ethereal ghost-like expressions of the movement of the model that are captured as a poignant afterthought to the pose are moving and striking to behold. The fluidity and grace of the human body is captured in an abstract medium unlike any ordinary display. First-year Brooke Lackock said, “The movement display was very beautiful, showing fluent graceful motions that were both peaceful yet strong. I think the black and white gave the pieces an elegant touch.”

Kraybill’s project is a personal representation of female aging. The project features photos of women aged one to one hundred taken in locations ranging from nurseries to nursing homes to dorm rooms. The presentation is powerful and truly reflects “an awesome community of women” (said Kraybill) that are “brave and honest” about every stage of the aging process.

The joys, discoveries and securities that are to be had at each age are represented gorgeously throughout the entire journey of one hundred pictures and years of life.

Junior Brandy Clark said, “It was amazing to see 100 pictures, with 100 quotes, in Molly’s show, and to see the progression of how people feel about their ages. As a college student finding my own way, it was interesting to see how people feel as they get older and further ‘find themselves’ and go through the stages of life. I loved how both artists (Kraybill and Pannapacker) asked their subjects about themselves, adding a personal touch to the photographs.”

Second year Kate Swartz said, “I thought the art gallery was affirming of the beauty of the female body in all stages (particularly Molly’s works) and that all displayed great love and fascination with representations of people and their inherent beauty.” The contributions of the artists each reflect a unique perspective and interpretation of their medium.

Zimmerman’s works are composed of mixed mediums, rendering touchable works of raised art that depict varying facets of life. Zimmerman said, “ I wanted to create artworks that can be experienced by anyone. I have several friends who are deaf, and have had experiences with numerous people with different disabilities. I wanted to create art that would be an enjoyable experience for all.”

A woman’s face, a bee, a can of soda, and a branch are just a few of the sight and touch experiences that compose the project. “Kindred” as it is titled was born out of “an idea to make art accessible to everyone” according to Zimmerman. She dreams of creating a communal art gallery that can cater to all facets of the population, including those with disabilities. The grey-toned works are a delightful and moving experience for any audience, and speak volumes about the creative power of both the artist and the works.

-Rehana Franklin, Style Editor


Categories: Style

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