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First MC senior art exhibit currently on display

Barry McNamara
Each spring, Monmouth College’s senior art majors display their works in the Len G. Everett Gallery of Hewes Library. The first installment of the senior art exhibit is on display through April 20, with the second installment set to run from April 23 – May 9.

The current exhibit features the works of Nicole Arndt of Toluca, Suzanne Barber of Wyoming, Jessica Cagwin of Manhattan and Brooke Twohill of Lemont. A reception for the artists will be held on April 20 from 3 – 5 p.m.

Featured in the second exhibit will be Jessica Bingham of Lynn Center, Alyse Cole of Washington, Brennan Probst of Wilmette and Danica Rogers of Rochelle. The reception for those four artists will be held on April 29 from 3 – 5 p.m.

Arndt says her art focuses on “what it means to be human in relation to our physical bodies and our connection and similarity to the natural world around us.” She added, “My paintings depict chemicals found in our bodies and systems of cells that make up our bodies.”

While Arndt is drawn to inner nature, Barber looks outward.

“My artwork speaks for the preservation and restoration of natural lands,” she said. “Through my artwork, I hope people gain an appreciation and respect for nature.”

Twohill explained that she began with nature as her focus, but came back to human subjects.

“I began my work from nature with my tree series. This was the starting point that brought me to my more recent work … portraits. The portraits are of my family. Although the paintings aren’t of a ‘tree,’ the people I’ve painted are my family tree.”

Bingham focuses on organic forms and says she experiments with “many different mediums, including watercolor, ink, acrylic paint, oil paint and lemon juice.”

Cole, whose work with encaustics (heated wax) earned “Best of Show” honors at a student exhibit last semester, said, “Working with encaustics gives me a chance to focus on the process of creating art. While working on a piece, I think a lot about space, texture and lines.”

Probst uses film photography “to show the sad, yet beautiful deterioration of the world we live in. My favorite subjects are once-grand structures, now gradually degrading into dust. I try to give them a voice.” Influenced by filmmaker George A. Romero, as well as fine artists Francis Bacon and Diane Arbus, Probst prints all of his photos by hand in a darkroom. There is no digital process involved.

The Everett Gallery is open Mondays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to midnight; Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, noon to midnight.