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.
Kelsey Rico ’16 is a special major in architectural studies. Her senior thesis exhibition “Interstice” will be on display from April 28 to May 1 at the List Gallery.
The Daily Gazette: When and how did you become interested in art?
Kelsey Rico: I’ve been interested in art since I can remember. I was always doing crafts because my mom does a lot of crafts. She’s a quilter, so I just kind of grew up around it. Coming to Swat, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to study art, but I took FYS: Making Art, and I got completely hooked on taking art classes.
DG: What’s your choice of medium and why?
KR: I mostly worked with wood in this show, but I’m actually interested in materiality in general. I like looking at different materials and seeing how different materials respond to a similar theme or concept — working through different materials like paper, wood, paint, hydro corn plaster, a lot of different stuff.
DG: Why did you name this show “Interstice”?
KR: It means the small space between two things, and it has a lot of meaning with the lamps and how the space between the planes is what makes the experience. Even in my paintings, it’s the space between the lines and when they’re joined, creating form, and when they’re separated, creating another situation. Those small spaces really influencing a work inspired me to name it that.
DG: Can you tell me about your favorite piece and the inspiration behind it?
KR: Sure. I think the table is the obvious choice. I’ve been working on it since junior year. For that one, I was inspired by a few different furniture designers such as Nakashima, Esherick, and especially Hans Wegner. Wegner was a furniture designer who designed a chair for a small child that can be put together without any glue. It’s made with four pieces and can be packed up flat, shipped, and [put] together. My table is made of four slabs that each have a full plaster tenon joint, and each piece goes together without glue.
DG: What are some takeaways you want for your audience?
KR: I kind of want it to be up to them — how they feel about it. I don’t want to impose anything on their experience. I think, in general, most of my work is pretty calm. I like asking people what they think about it and what it reminds them of.
DG: Do you have anything else you want to add?
KR: I think the senior showcase for the studio arts department is a really cool and unique experience, because we get to share our work with the student body and display it for everyone. It’s a big deal putting it together, and even art schools don’t do that. They have a big show for all the majors, but you don’t get your own “this is my show, and this is my overall vision.”