“A Heart Divided,” the title work in Will Browning’ senior art exhibit, is one of the artist’s favorite pieces. It is two sculpted arms made from clay holding an anatomical heart made from broken glass. One arm is glazed with white glaze while the other is glazed black. The contrast of colors is to show there are two sides to every story.
“The heart is so delicate,” Browning said. “It being made of broken glass is to represent how God has broken me down and put me back together – the heart is a testament of being transparent and letting God come in and fill those broken spaces.”
Browning is an art and biology pre-health double major with a religion minor. Deriving from his many passions and the sense of conflict among them all, Browning’s work shows how he has been able to tie them together over the course of his four years at Northwestern.
Browning began the process of creating his show the spring semester of his sophomore year. Since then, he’s been utilizing all his art classes to work on his exhibit pieces. Browning has used a wide range of media to bring his show to life, enhancing his work to reach the standards he set when he first began. A few mediums used include glass for sculptures, clay for 3D work, screen printing, charcoal drawing, micro pen and marker drawings, oil painting and photography.
Monday, April 1, will mark the start of Browning’s exhibit. His work will be displayed in Northwestern’s Te Paske Gallery until Friday, April 5. A public reception will be held on Tuesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. Public gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Much of Browning’s work will be for sale, prices are to be listed next to each piece.
When beginning this process, Browning found his inspirations through three people: Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Makoto Fujimura. Monet and van Gogh were the two stylistic references Browning used to further his ideas due to their impressionist pieces that abstracted reality. They mainly influenced his painting pieces. Fujimura, while not a stylistic inspiration, motivated Browning in a different way.
“He inspired the faith portion of my art,” Browning said. “A lot of my work is self-reflective and really looks into how I perceive God. Makoto influenced me in pursuing that through my theme.”
Browning’s senior art exhibit is a unique way to show his heart to those around campus. Each piece will represent an area of his life where he has grown and changed.
“This exhibit is a nice send off and ending event to say, ‘this is who I am, this is who I’ve come to be, this is who NW has made me and this is who the world is about to see,” Browning said. “I encourage others to be bold. Don’t be afraid to pick two different majors or add a minor that has nothing to do with your majors. If you are passionate and able to foster your love for God, then don’t let it hold you back.”