Photo of Senegalese fabric by Justine Maust
By Sara Albaba Contributing Writer
Jess Sprunger, a junior art major, finds inspiration in all things, but on her recent S.S.T. experience in Senegal, the bright colors and elaborate fabrics especially inspired her.
Sprunger was so inspired she brought many pieces of the beautiful fabric back with her to Goshen. Although Sprunger is still unsure of what she wants to do with the fabrics, she said she may sew them into quilts or bags.
Many Senegalese women wore dresses made of similar fabric, Sprunger said. She assumed the women in Senegal expressed themselves through the particular designs and colors of the dresses they wore.
Sprunger said the fabric will continue to provide inspiration to her art.
“The bright colors and beautiful patterns are so visually pleasing,” Sprunger said.
Senegal was a beautiful and artistic experience, Sprunger said. While telling some locals she enjoyed making jewelry, she was met with strange looks and told that in Senegal, jewelry making and metal work was a man’s job. Sprunger observed that men chose metal work as a career and left more domestic jobs, like raising children and cooking, to the women. Still, Sprunger said she will will continue to make jewelry as a passion and does not believe it should be attributed to one gender only.
Although Sprunger is unsure of what her future holds in terms of her work, she said she was adequately inspired by her Study-Service Term.
In fact, looking at pictures of her brother, Austin, who is currently on Morocco Study-Service Term, Sprunger said she wishes she could go there as well and be inspired by the beauty. But for now, Austin’s souvenirs and Jess’s Senegalese fabric will have to suffice.