Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Juniors Elizabeth Brown, Adrian Davalos, Yuan Liu, Sofia Lopez, Laura Post, Sebastian Moya and Crystal Richardson are currently exhibiting their work from the first-ever Junior Workshop in the Kitao Gallery.
Works on display range in scale and medium. Liu and Post both have large canvases in the show, and play with the effects of deploying color and form on a large scale. Lopez’s work includes twin wooden sculptures that ask to be picked up and held, as well as “Collection”, a series of cast noses in a shadow bow-like display case. Moya is exhibiting a series of exquisitely crafted bound books. Richardson’s multi-media installation explores themes of Native American identity. Davalos, who had an exhibition of his prints in the Kitao earlier this year, includes among his pieces a screenprint on transparent acetate which creates an interesting window through which to observe the exhibition as a whole.
The new class is an extension of the Senior Workshop, in which senior studio art majors spend the fall semester working on their own art while also coming together for critiques and other joint activities. In the spring, seniors continue to build on their work from the fall, with the semester culminating in a series of two-person shows in the List Gallery after spring break.
Syd Carpenter, who led the class, said that the idea of having a Junior Workshop was to start this process earlier and let studio art majors get to know each other before their senior year.
“It gives them the opportunity to come together as a group,” she said, so that when senior year starts they will already know each other. It also allows them to “identify what they want to do” and consider “what does it mean to be a junior major.”
By beginning to focus so intensely on their work before their senior year, juniors are also given the opportunity to continue to work over the summer. Five students have received grants to work on their art this summer: Liu and Lopez received Humanities grants, and Brown, Davalos and Moya received Altman grants.
Post said that her goals for the Junior Workshop were to “meet the other majors,” who she might not have worked with in a class before due to the art department’s flexible curriculum. Although the class did not meet on a regular basis, she found that it was an “interesting experience” to work closely with other art majors.
Brown said that the Junior Workshop was a good way to learn “who does what, and what their goals are,” as well as “what makes a useful critique.”
The exhibition will have open hours on Saturday and Sunday from 1-4, and Monday from 5-7.