Inclusivity best describes the newest exhibition in the Te Paske Gallery.
The art department’s annual collaborative exhibit between Northwestern and Dordt opened on Nov. 8. Each year, submissions from the two schools are judged by a panel of students from the opposite school, and the final selections are displayed in an exhibition that alternates between the two campuses.
While almost all art exhibitions at NW display work from art students and professional artists, this combined exhibition, which is over 20 years old, has the unique opportunity to showcase artwork from students of all studies—not just art majors.
Every year, the Dordt and NW art departments request students for submissions of original works of art of all styles and mediums. While this year’s art pieces are almost entirely composed from traditional visual art mediums, all forms of art are encouraged for submission: including performative and written work.
This year, around 80 pieces were submitted between Dordt and NW students, and the judges whittled the final selection down to 40 stunning creations ranging from paintings, sculptures, photographs, ceramics, print making and more.
Some of the most unique and fascinating pieces on display include a sculpture of a heart made out of Aspirin created by NW junior Ali Almail and a collage painting canvased on drywall created by Dordt student Levi Yakubu.
The gallery is truly a testament to collaborative creation and education in the arts. First, it provides a wonderful opportunity for the NW and Dordt art departments to uphold and commend each other as creators.
Professor Emily Stokes, who is in charge of the exhibition this year, said that this collaboration often brings out “unexpected connections in thematic choices or visual qualities that emerge when you see the work side by side.”
Common themes that can be found in this year’s gallery include violence, family and self-discovery. Surprise connections like these serve as a reminder, in a way only collaborative experiences like this gallery can, that art is not a practice for solitude, but rather, an experience, a partnership between the artist and those who view the piece and find meaning in the art by connecting it to the world around them.
The inclusion of this gallery means that viewing it is an opportunity for students and faculty to celebrate talents shared not by just those who study art, but also students of computer science, biology and other focused studies.
Art education is also celebrated in the process of creating this exhibition. For many artists, like NW sophomore Andrea Freeman, this is their first exhibition.
“I can’t wait to go [see it],” she said. “It’s my first [exhibition], but I hope it’s not the last.”
For the judges, Joy McCaffery, Ali Almail and Faith Tyrell, it’s also a fantastic opportunity for them to grow in their art critiquing skills when they “apply their own criteria to the selection process” Stokes remarked.
Overall, this yearly exhibition is an incredible feature that merits a brisk trip through the winter air to the art building to see both Dordt and NW students’ hard work. The gallery will remain open to the public until Friday, Dec. 6, and, if you like what you see and fancy yourself a bit of an artist, be on the lookout next year for submission information. You might just find a piece of your own artwork on display next fall.