As finals week approaches, the end of the semester brings the always-expectant stress and overwhelming schedules. Hours in the library, sleepless nights and excessive amounts of caffeinated courage are reason enough to make us consider getting away, if only for a short while.
If you’re looking for a quick escape, consider touring the Dordt/NW Student Art Exhibit, which opened this week in Dordt’s Campus Center Art Gallery. The exhibit, open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., offers a wide range of pieces from all mediums and boasts a unique atmosphere crafted by students for students.
Professor Rein Vanderhill said, “The students are totally on their own when they make the selections for the show; no faculty are involved, so it is a 100% student event.”
The joint exhibit is a tradition 12 years in the making. Every year, over 50 pieces of student art are submitted for consideration by a panel of student jurors. A team of three NW jurors reviewed Dordt’s submissions, while a group from Dordt selected NW’s contributions to the show.
“The pieces I entered were the pieces that I wanted an opinion on. I was curious to see if Dordt students would deem them worthy of an appearance in the show,” said senior Breann Rozeboom.
“I entered a portrait and a sculpture of an octopus. The octopus was to lighten the mood. It’s a ridiculous octopus,” said sophomore Michael Gutsche. “Art can be a bit too serious at our level of experience. We’re trying too hard to be meaningful and artsy sometimes. Not to imply that art shouldn’t be serious, but sometimes we have to step back a bit and make fun of ourselves or we’ll get too self-absorbed; therefore, octopus.”
Drawing pieces from different mediums, the show includes paintings, drawings, mixed media, printmaking, photography, sculpture and ceramic works of all kinds. And while not entirely competitive, the show does offer a chance to talk about what makes “good art.”
“The show, in my opinion, is two schools collaborating or creating a dialogue over what unpacked images or objects contain sophistication or intentionality,” said Rozeboom.
Gutsche adds, “It’s a good chance to see some [art] in a fairly informal show. This isn’t some famous artist doing their famous art all over the place. It’s students ‘art-ing it up’ and then collaborating to show the best of it. There are no stupid questions or observations you don’t get because you’re not cultured enough. It’s just art.”