Senior art majors explore themes of nature and sanctuary

JENAE LONGNECKER

Arts Editor

jenael@goshen.edu

Spring has come around again, and for Goshen College seniors, the joys and stressors of the final semester of college are in full swing.

In the GC art department, Ellen Schlabach and David Pauls have been hard at work putting together their joint senior art exhibit, which will open this Sunday, March 20.

The exhibit will kick off with a reception from 2-4 p.m. in the GC Music Center’s Hershberger Gallery.

Schlabach is an art education major from Goshen, IN. She has chosen the theme “personal sanctuary” to bring together the prints and paintings in her portion of the exhibit.

Through this theme, Schlabach is exploring different meanings of “home.” She says, “I moved a lot growing up, and my job at the Boys and Girls Club brings me into contact with all types of homes. I am fascinated with what it means to feel ‘at home.’”

As part of this exhibit, Schlabach spent hours filling her pieces with intricate details and fine lines. “Finishing pieces took quite a bit of time,” she says.

Pauls, whose exhibit is focused on exploring wilderness and the natural world, also found the intense amount of work to be a challenge.

Each artist is expected to have at least five pieces in the show. Pauls says, “The hardest part has probably been juggling working on multiple different compositions at the same time and trying to make sure I pay a relative similar amount of attention to each.”

This challenge has been exciting for Pauls, who likes to see “how each piece influences the others.”

Pauls’ work is in the realms of drawing and sculpture, and in this exhibit, he is most excited about “a series of three curvilinear found steel sculptures that are fairly minimal and look at manipulating space in interesting ways.”

He added, “Its hard to describe abstract sculptures and do justice to them. People should just come and see them.”

Commenting on how he chose the nature theme, Pauls said, “I like backpacking and being out deep in the wilderness. That tends to be where most of my ideas and inspiration comes from.”

Another of Pauls’ works is a ten-foot abstracted tree formed through similar curvilinear pieces and bent steel rods.

Schlabach is most excited about one of her paintings, titled “Ownership of Community.” She said, “It touches upon my love and appreciation for street art.”

Schlabach added, “I’m also very excited about my coloring book, ‘Sanctuary.’” She sees this hand-drawn coloring book, which will be available for sale at Sunday’s exhibit opening, as a way to “bring art into everyone’s life.”

Next year, Pauls and Schlabach will both continue to pursue art. Schlabach said, “No matter what, I hope to teach art.” She also looks forward to creating and showing her own work in the future.

Pauls plans to pursue graduate education and is looking to work at the intersection of sculpture and landscape architecture.

A senior art exhibit showcases the best of an art major’s work. According to the art department, students should display work “in an area in which the student has specialized and developed a personal style.” The students need to have taken at least two classes involving their chosen medium. Together with their instructor, they work to install their work in the Hershberger Gallery and advertise the exhibit.

Schlabach and Pauls’ work is on view in the Hershberger Gallery located just off the GC Music Center lobby. The exhibit will end with a closing reception on April 23 from 2-3:30 p.m.

Written by Record

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