A new art exhibit, featuring work by Emma Gerigscott and Nick Loewen, was unveiled in the Music Center’s Hershberger Art Gallery this past Sunday.Gerigscott, who grew up in Goshen, graduated from Goshen College with an interdisciplinary major in art, environmental science and social policy in 2014. After graduation, she spent some time working as a farmer in various capacities, both in New Zealand and in Goshen in the hopes of putting her degree to practical use. When burnout with farming hit, she got a job at Goshen Brewing Company as a line cook and a dishwasher.
Eventually, Gerigscott realized that the time for her next change had come.
“[I was] committed to art, and grad school seemed like a good excuse to move somewhere else,” Gerigscott said.
In 2018, she received her Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) from the Oregon College of Art and Craft.
“I realized that a deep shift took place in my mind. The first year or so was entirely failures,” Gerigscott said.
She described the topic of her thesis as how to “have fun and not be sad while still acknowledging how sad life is.”
For Gerigscott, having fun is an important part of the painting process, as is having a process for coming into the studio to do the work instead of just expecting brilliance to happen. Her paintings are full of bright colors, layers and the occasional bit of gold leaf.
Last year, Gerigscott’s work was exhibited in the Froelick Gallery in Portland and at Found in downtown Goshen, which is owned by her aunt and uncle, Ann and Keith Graber Miller. Having family in the area has helped Gerigscott to keep her work in Goshen.
Having her art displayed at Found also placed Gerigscott on John Mischler’s radar. Mischler is the art gallery director for Goshen College.
“We like to show graduates who got MFAs…We often show them as a two-person show,” Mischler said.
Having alumni display their art gives current art students a chance to glimpse what life with an MFA can be like.
Loewen is the other alum featured in the show. He graduated from Goshen with an art degree in 2006. Having also grown up in Goshen, he went to the West Coast for his MFA, which he received in 2012 from University of California, Santa Barbara. Loewen currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“Art is something I was doing from a young age, but [I] didn’t think about studying it until I was in college,” Loewen said.
It wasn’t until he took his first college painting course that he realized that it was something he could potentially do with his life.
One meaningful project he did while still at Goshen was while working as a Hickory Scholar. He and John Blosser, an art professor at the time, were experimenting with creating art by dumping buckets of paint onto things that they found.
Part of Loewen’s art is “making things that are meaningful to me. You take something that you can’t put into words and channel that energy into your work of art,” he said.
“I really like how his work is very geometric — [Loewen mentioned in his artist talk how] those geometric shapes are concrete, but then when we put them into the real world, things get messy and not as pristine,” said Emma Zuercher, a first-year ASL interpreting major and art minor. “I think it’s awesome.”
Another one of Loewen’s works was a personal favorite of Priscilla Tanujaya, a sophomore art and music double-major. “Lenticular Mosaic No. 14” is a mosaic created from lenticular posters. Lenticular is the substance used to laminate posters and create a holographic or 3D look.
“I love it. It’s really unique and one of a kind. Different from what I’ve seen before,” Tanujaya said.
The show will be on display through Jan. 12, 2020. The Hershberger Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with the exception of being closed on holidays.