The Company puts on a show

John Schmidt Web Editor


 Nestled in the heart of Jackrabbit Grove, amongst residence halls and high foot traffic, seniors Mark Burkholder, Stephanie Allen and Cole Behrends prepared and displayed The Company, an Art and Design Exhibition in the Ritz Gallery in Grove Hall. 

Saturday, Nov. 2, Burkholder, Allen and Behrends sat on the floor of the Ritz Gallery in Grove Hall planning on what goes where before their show opened to the public on Monday, Nov. 4. 

“We were handed the keys late last night [Friday],” Allen said. 

Allen is a graphic design major with certificates in ceramics and printmaking; Burkholder a graphic design major and Behrends is a studio art with a printmaking certificate. A requirement to graduate is to have a senior show, displaying all the pieces they’ve worked on. 

“It’s the latter half of our college work,” Behrends said. 

The works hung on the walls and played on the TVs in the Ritzs Gallery are the works of the three from their higher level art classes. 

Strange People of Power is a piece Behrends showcased 

which is a mixture of a bust with a ski mask on, displaying a level of “self worth,” according to Behrends. The ski mask is a sign of dissent, and the bust is a symbol of power and importance. 

“Most people on busts are considered good people,” Behrends said. 

Behrends considers it his most difficult piece. The difficulty derives from what is considered a finished piece, according to Behrends. 

“My professor and I discussed for a long time what is considered a finished piece,” Behrends said. 

One of Allen’s recent ceramic pieces is three separate pieces connecting into one bigger piece consisting of groves in the ceramic. She said she wanted to put both printmaking and ceramics together [for this piece]. 

“After I finish a print, I usually make a ceramic that goes with it,” Allen said. “This piece was inspired by the build up my tools got when I was printmaking.” 

An array of t-shirt logos is on the east wall of the Ritz Gallery. “Difficult is a hard for me,” Burkholder said. 

Each of the logos Burkholder designed were through his various clients he has worked with as a student. There was a plethora of colors and designs, logos for letterhead, t-shirts and more at the hands of Burkholder. 

The senior artists had their work on display for first week of November, with Friday, Nov. 8 being their reception. The weekend before, the trio worked from 9 p.m. to midnight three nights in a row to properly arrange and display their pieces of art. 

“Measuring and hanging was difficult,” Burkholder said. 

The gallery changed from a stressful atmosphere to a celebratory and relaxing one over the five days. 

“It feels good to be at this point,” Allen said. “All of us have different styles, [but] you can’t tell whose is whose here.” 

Several people, ranging from faculty to family, were inside the gallery to see the artists’ college work. 

Behrends claims his artistic talent and passion was a childhood habit he just ran with. Allen attributes hers to growing up in a creative environment, whereas Burkholder tends to think visually. 

“I’m not like my brother,” Behrends younger, much taller brother mentions to some other guests at the reception. Allen and her sister posed for photos in front of some of her work, while Burkholder explained his method and approach to a particular piece. 

The group took down their artwork Friday night and over the weekend to make room for more exhibits to follow theirs.