Ellen Schlabach, a junior, believes that art is important for self-reflection and self-expression, and that there is value in teaching those skills to kids.

Because of these beliefs, Schlabach is pursuing two areas of study: art and education. Through her art and teaching, Schlabach hopes to bring light to issues in the world today, particularly the issue of inequality.

Schlabach was encouraged by her parents to pursue art from an early age, and began to appreciate it as a means of communication.

“I wasn’t much of a writer,” she said. “But creating art is another way of saying something about the world around us.”

Initially an art and linguistics major at Earlham College, Schlabach realized that she wasn’t sure about future career opportunities, and decided to switch her path to education and transfer to Goshen.

In her work, she is currently focusing on human interaction with nature, especially as it relates to the issue of climate change.

Schlabach enjoys drawing, and is a self-professed “texture junkie.” Besides inspiration from world around her, the desire to be a teacher also influences what she portrays in her art.

In addition to being a full-time commuter student, Schlabach is the art director at the Middlebury Boys & Girls Club. This experience contributes to her subject matter by increasing her desire to depict wealth inequality.

In terms of future plans, Schlabach would like to continue to focus on this theme of inequality for her senior show. She attributes much of her learning about issues of inequality to her time at Goshen College, and credits the past couple of years here for developing her skills in communicating visually through her art.