Mandy Schlabach, a senior art major, was exposed to art at a young age through a Waldorf school. The Waldorf method is an educational philosophy which emphasizes introducing all students to different art forms as an integral part of early education. Building on her experience in Waldorf education, Schlabach has since identified art as an effective way to express issues, break down barriers, and release emotions.

“I believe art can move people,” Schlabach said.

Schlabach has enjoyed experimenting with various kinds of artwork, including acrylic painting, ceramics, and jewelry-making, though she is currently focusing specifically on watercolor painting.

The fluidity of watercolor draws her to this medium, as well as the fact that when using watercolor, huge mistakes can still produce beautiful artwork.

This year at Goshen, Schlabach is excited to improve both her rendering skills and her work in figure drawing.

“Portraying the body is an amazing thing,” Schlabach said.

Schlabach gives this advice to all students, particularly those who are not studying art: “Take one art class.  You’ll learn things about yourself you never knew.”

She denounces the excuse many students use of not being good enough at art.  According to Schlabach, art is about expression, colors, and the creative process itself, rather than any particular skill set.

“You might not think [your artwork] is beautiful, but others might see the world differently through your art,” she said.

Schlabach plans to attend graduate school someday and possibly pursue a career in art therapy or social work. But first, Schlabach hopes to pursue another of her passions: world travel.

Schlabach’s previous travels in Costa Rica and Tanzania sparked in her a love of other cultures.  She plans to bring themes from these travels into her senior art show, as well as glimpses of the desert scenes that are common in her Arizona hometown.

Schlabach’s senior show will be on display this spring.