Festive show highlights Reed graduation

They call it a “thesis exhibition”‚ but it looks like a great art show, and party to us! Take a look at the work of the two graduating artists we met

Graduating Reed College art student, Daniel Sander, shows his multi-dimensional work, “Self portrayal of Lil’ Red”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Reed College maintains a lower profile than many major institutions. But, this liberal-arts school graduates many students who go on to national prominence in many fields, such as fine arts.

At the opening of seven graduating seniors’ “thesis exhibitions” a couple of weeks ago, we meet professor who chairs the college’s Art Department, Gerri Ondrizeck.

“The exhibition is important,” says Ondrizeck, “because it’s the culmination of each student’s year-long project. The projects come from a variety of disciplines, culminating in a body of art.”

In addition to creating works of art, the professor explains, students focus on anthropology, or philosophy or sociology as part of their project. “They write a major thesis on their body of work. Each project is unique; they design on their own. It is more than art for art’s sake.”

Art in many dimensions
As we enter one section, we meet Daniel Sander, and view his works.

Of one multi-layered artwork, Sander tells us it is entitled, “Self portrayal of Lil’ Red”.

“This piece falls within the context of the exhibition,” Sander explains. “This one deals with the trans-gendered body with the checkered mirrors, and brings in the 90’s feminism, and Lacanian psychoanalysis.”

Describing his artistic process, Sander says, “I start with the words. Then I tell the stories in a visual format. If I think of a picture, I describe it in words first. It may be a short poem. Then, I gather materials that fit those words. These could be photographs, mirrors and shapes.”

Sander says he’ll intern at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art before he decides his next career step. “I’d like to keep doing studio arts‚ or at least do work related to the ‘graphic images’ field.”

Sarah Harvey says about her thesis exhibition artwork, “My thesis is on cinematic versus photographic narrative‚ but incorporating both. It is almost like a motion picture storyboard.”

Her pictures tell the story
In another area, we meet Sarah Harvey. She’s graduating with Bachelors in Studio Art. We’re looking a large collage she calls “Caf?© Scene”.

“I knew I wanted to do something with narrative,” Harvey says. “I combined all these photographs together to make a story. It is more of an alternative kind of narrative.”

In this artwork, Harvey says she took different photographs‚ from diverse times and places — and constructed them to be read as a continuous narrative.

“The story is about the relationship between two people,” explains Harvey. “It shows how the relationship evolves, and more specifically, how it ends. It shows the characters feeling isolated because it ended.”

Harvey says she’s considering graduate school, with studies focused on art history.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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