Every year, senior art majors have the opportunity to showcase their work in the Hershberger Art Gallery of the Goshen College Music Center. 

For this year’s showcase, eight students collaborated to curate two senior art exhibits.

The first senior art exhibit of the year opened on March 21 with sculptures, posters, and mixed media self portraits by seniors Esmeralda Bucio, Dianna Campos, Melissa Ma and Jacob Sheppard. The gallery closed this past week.

The second exhibit opened on April 7 and features seniors Meghna Das, Heather Gabel, Naomi Tolmachoff and Nathan Pauls.

Meghna Das, an art and secondary education major, describes preparing for her senior show as “a bit unreal.”

“It feels like just yesterday I was taking my first 100-level drawing class in my freshman year,” she said. 

Das’ theme for her section of the exhibit is “portraits of the people I care about.”

“My favorite piece is probably the one of my grandparents titled ‘Things We Said Today,’ Das said. “It was one of my first watercolor portraits and it is so special to me and my mom. It is a portrait of her parents when they were younger. Her mother died when she was quite young and her father passed away in the spring of 2018 while I was in my first year of college. It was a really hard time for me because I couldn’t be with my family to mourn his death.”

Das painted the piece after hearing her mother mention that she “didn’t have a lot of pictures of the two of them together.” She also chose to include lyrics in the background of the painting from the Beatles song “Thing We Said Today.”

Painting of Meghna's grandparents“[My grandpa] would sing the song to [my mom] when he would leave to go back to college and I thought that was the sweetest thing ever,” Das said. “My grandpa was and always will be one of my favorite people and so I hold this piece very close to my heart.”

Heather Gabel, an art and sustainable food systems major, created a variety of sculptures for her section of the exhibit. Her favorite piece is a large, colorful archway situated at the entrance of the gallery.

“I began dreaming about the design for this sculpture last summer,” she said. “I knew I wanted to weld a large piece for my senior show, but it took a while to come up with this arch idea. I started by welding two different sculptures and eventually they grew together.”

Naomi Tolmachoff, an art major, enjoyed the process of preparing and curating her portion of the gallery. Her favorite piece is titled “The Twisted Cow.”

“When creating this drawing, I took Salvador Dali’s artwork as a mentor artist,” she said. “I liked that he takes things and distorts them, which is why the cow heads are opposite directions. And for the flower I actually got the idea from a tattoo that I gave a friend.”

Nathan Pauls, an art and communications major, was inspired by a friend to take on a ceramics challenge for his exhibit – “throwing” 100 mugs in one weekend. 

“I got 100 balls of one-pound clay and then I threw all day,” he said. “I got to 97.”

Next, Pauls had to come up with a way to work the mugs into his senior exhibit. 

“I kind of had those mugs and was like ok, what do I do with these mugs?” he said. “I was like, well, I can’t really just have my show full of mugs, because that would be kind of boring.” 

Pauls’ advisor suggested that he create pitchers to pair with the mugs.

“So that was my next couple-days marathon of throwing,” Pauls said. “I did like seven one day, and then a couple the next. So then I had about twenty sets of pitchers and mugs… and that’s basically what my show is.”

Pauls has worked as a gallery assistant in the past, but this is his first time curating or “hanging” one of his own shows.

“It’s one thing to make things in the studio and have your little corner and just work away at your work,” he said. “[But] now it’s in a very public space, so translating that from a very private experience to this public venue of an art show… has kind of been an emotional rollercoaster. But we’ll see how I feel on Sunday!”

Students and staff can attend a reception this Sunday at 2:00 pm to hear the artists speak about their work. The exhibit will run in the Hershberger Art Gallery until April 18.