Connecting through memories

Three GVSU students prepare senior exhibit

By Moriah Gilbert | 3/22/15 10:33pm

The Spiral Gallery in Grand Rapids will display the culminating work of three senior Grand Valley State University students.

Printmaker Elizabeth Deforest, illustrator Jonathan Greenwald and sculptor Anna Hunt put their ideas together to create "Barely Forgotten" as their Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis show.

In "Barely Forgotten," the artists hope to display the dynamics of memories through their exhibit.

"The memories we attempt to illustrate vary from damaged innocence, dry days of love, unresolved dreams and secondhand events with long dead family," Deforest said.

The artists embraced storytelling in each piece to allow these memories to be shared. The work not only emits their memories, but is set to make viewers reminisce as well.

"We hope that our work presents itself as an artifact of what was," Deforest said. "Our interest is sharing memories, moments and events that have kept themselves over time."

Deforest's work focuses on the sentimentality of precious personal objects.

"The private nature of these objects come from my individual interaction with them through time," Deforest said.

Greenwald's artwork personifies an outsider peeking into the memories of others.

"Among the other two, I'm working in the illustration manner and showing the memories itself, not exactly being truthful about it," Greenwald said. "It's interesting because it's the same subject matter at different angles of sentimentality."

It is approached in a quirky, immature manner and the others are really thought out, Greenwald said.

Hunt's art focuses on chaotic, collective memories that are created through objects, cloth, plants and personal belongings.

Hosting an exhibit also came as a challenge to all of the artists, especially with an opportunity to branch off campus in a different workspace.

"It's fun to be in a different environment and it allows (us) to network with a gallery that we don't have access to," Deforest said.

The artists found it fulfilling to finally have their artwork out at the gallery and have an audience look at it.

"It feels good to have it up now since we were staying up all night, every night, and it was a huge struggle to make all of these decisions," Greenwald said.

"Barely Forgotten" will hold a closing reception on Friday, March 27 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public, and there will be light refreshments served.

The exhibit can be seen now until March 27 by appointment at the Spiral Gallery, located at 44 Division S. Grand Rapids 49503. For more information, call (616) 881-2511.

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