Taylor seniors promote flourishing through art - The Echo News
Via Ad

Taylor seniors promote flourishing through art

Jeff Cramer, this one is for you

Photo by Natalie Baker

Photo by Natalie Baker

By Katie Pfotzer | Echo

Metcalf’s main gallery is welcoming a new exhibit on Friday, March 1. The show is being put together by senior Art Ed and Pre Art Therapy majors and themed, “Vigeo.”

What does “Vigeo” mean?

“Basically it means to thrive,” senior Janie Ellingsen said. “We wanted (the show) to encompass not only our art, but our desire to help people and to bring about that ability to thrive.”

It was this desire to see and inspire flourishing that made Kathy Herrmann, department co-chair, sure of her students’ success.

The show includes a variety of mediums from ceramics to paintings to sketches.

“There are some beautiful prints,” Herrmann said. “There are some nice ceramics. There are some beautiful pieces in there.”

Hermann has worked at Taylor for 45 years and has run this show for the past 15 years.

As their professor, Hermann’s goal for every group of seniors is to cultivate independence in the students whose artwork is featured.

“It’s a big thing for them to take this thing and make it their own,” Herrmann said. “I give them suggestions but I really want to let them be ready to fly on their own.”

Because of this, the students are responsible for choosing the theme and creating a cohesive design for their own work, as well as installation of the pieces in the gallery.

Every collection from every artist has its own unique theme that ties back to “Vigeo.” The growth from adolescence to adulthood as well as feminine beauty are two topics explored within the larger context.  

“The theme of my work is ‘Ezer Kenegdo,’” senior McKenna Gartzke said. “Just as (‘vigeo’) alludes to strength, so does ezer kenegdo. I want women to look at my art and feel empowered; to feel encouraged to flourish as a woman in a patriarchal society.”

Every Taylor student is encouraged to hold this cherished understanding of the word “flourishing” from the moment they step into Jeff Cramer’s section of IAS 110.

But why incorporate it into the show?

“As freshmen we joke about ‘flourishing,’ but now as a senior I use the term seriously, acknowledging the fact that I am thriving and living my best life,” Gartzke said.

This echoing of the attitude of encouragement can perhaps be tied back the vocation of the individuals involved in the show.

The theme allows all of the artists to incorporate their love of art with their belief in its essential place in healing.

“I think with art therapy there is a chance to engage deeply with other people’s journeys and you become a part of something bigger (than) yourself” senior Hannah Tolentino said.  

It is not just the students who have this attitude in mind.

The professor agrees.

“To thrive, bloom, flourish — that’s what I want for them,” Herrmann said. “When they leave Taylor, I want them to flourish. I want them to take with them all that they have learned in the four years here and be active, be effective.”  

Comments are closed.