Reverie: Senior Show leads viewers into dreamlike state

By Kari Norton | 11/14/12 5:00pm


GVL / Eric Coulter
GVSU Senior Thesis show Reverie in the Padnos Art Gallery will be on display through November 16th. The exhibit features work from Elizabeth Lowe, Jackie Solhoff, and Samantha Goch spanning various mediums, including illustration, textiles, and metalworking.

Every semester, art students spend countless hours constructing the ideas and work that goes into creating their final senior thesis project. This semester, three Grand Valley State University art students have come together to create their senior dream-like world.

Reverie: Senior Show started Nov. 12 in the Padnos Student Gallery located in the Calder Art Center on the Allendale Campus and will continue until Nov. 16 with an opening reception Nov. 15.

The senior art show is a combination of illustration, metalwork and textiles designed by Elizabeth Lowe, Jackie Sulhoff and Samantha Gach. It’s the first time the three art students have worked together on a project – Lowe majors in metals, Sulhoff in printmaking and Gach in illustration.

“Reverie means state of being lost in one’s thoughts; a daydream,” Lowe said. “For this art show the three of us tried to create work that reflect different aspects of a dream.”

It begins with Lowe’s work, which uses fabric and metals to create a flowing cloud series that transports the viewer into a pleasant mind set, Lowe said.

Work by Sulhoff follows, continuing to keep a whimsical theme through the use of storytelling and illustration. Her portion is a narrative of a deer that loses its home to urbanization.

“My work deals with the main theme of Man vs. Nature,” Sulhoff said. “In order for man to create, they must first destroy. I’ve illustrated a self-written story about a deer and his friends in their attempt to escape deforestation.”

The final part of the show, done by Gach, is darker than the first two portions and finishes by leading into the portrayal of a nightmare.

As a child, Gach wanted a pony, but since it was out of her family’s budget she had to settle for sporadic carousel rides. Even then she could almost imagine being on a real horse, and her love for the animal has not diminished as she’s gotten older.

“A different outlook brought new interests to immerse myself in,” Gach said. “Edgar Allan Poe seemed the perfect literary escape, elegant language with a macabre twist that resonated with me as both sad and beautiful.”

Gach’s perspective of the world has become slightly darker and more realistic as she has grown up. She said she portrayed that view in her work by adding an air of mystery to the memory from her childhood.

“This duplicity to my personality has become an intrinsic part of who I am,” she said. “The contrast of playful and serious is an important part to this body of work. The relationship of the carousel horse, whimsical and light-hearted, compared to the works of Poe seemed like a fascinating combination to me.”

The exhibit is open for viewing at any time of day during the week of its display, with a reception Nov. 15 from 5-7 p.m., where food will be provided. The show is free and open to the public.

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