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Northwestern University

Student Artwork Featured at Dean's Office Exhibit

The annual "Art in Weinberg" exhibit, showcasing work by student artists across the university, is on display at the Weinberg College Dean’s Office. Dean Sarah Mangelsdorf hosted a reception for the newly installed pieces on Wednesday, November 9, 2011. Guests toured the exhibit at 1908, 1918 and 1922 Sheridan Road to hear about the artworkin some cases from the artists themselves.

Exhibitors in the show range from sophomores to seniors and represent a variety of academic majors. Exhibition pieces are selected from a pool of instructor nominations each year.

Among the first-time artists in this year’s exhibit was Fasika Ketema, a senior in film, who has two abstract self-portraits on display. Completed as a project in her Introduction to Drawing class, the pieces are part of a series of 10 images. Ketema compared the process of choosing mediums for the series to trial and error, gaining focus as she worked, with most of her art taking on a tactile quality. For example, one work incorporates small pieces of black tape built up in layers, while another uses the short, clean lines of staples to create texture.

Weinberg senior Degen Gottlieb, whose still life oil painting depicts golden beets, described the artistic process as “a remaking of yourself” that “requires a different kind of rigor.” A storyteller by nature, Gottlieb said that the greatest challenge for her is fighting the instinct to create complete narratives in her paintings.

Matthew Kluk said his contribution to the exhibit, a digitally enhanced photograph depicting multiple instances of himself seated in various poses in an otherwise empty auditorium, responds to his coursework about the illusions that can be created through photo collage. The Art History senior explained that he wanted to depict the scene “from a point of view students wouldn’t normally see” and set an uncomfortable mood that was “distinctly surreal and unnerving”a stark portrayal of absence.

Senior Morgan Krehbiel tackled a contrary challenge: using physical materials to simulate digital fabrications. Morgan’s painting, Dialogue, explores the abundance of synthetic hues in digital media and the challenges inherent in reproducing them through more traditional mediums like oil paint, colored pencil, and gouache.

The full collection of 29 pieces will be on display for the remainder of the 2011-12 academic year.

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