Seniors capture art through a personal lens

Charlie Roiland

After months of hard work, senior art and art history majors are ready to present their final projects. The senior inquiry projects will be on display in the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4. The show will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 12-4 p.m. until May 22, excluding finals week.

While students were allowed to choose any topic to focus on for their senior inquiry projects, the majority chose something that had a significant meaning to them. Senior Lauren Barton is one of these students. 

“I knew I wanted to do something personal because I would put more of myself into it,” Barton said. “I decided to do something political, something that’s really affected my family and friend relationships over the past four or five years.”

Senior Lindsey Johnson took a similar route with her project. One of Johnson’s main focuses over the past four years has been nude figure drawing, and she wanted to incorporate that into her senior inquiry project. 

“This project was more about body positivity, focusing on people being able to feel beautiful in their own skin without feeling ashamed or being looked down on,” Johnson said.

Following the personal theme, senior Sophie Osborn incorporated a lot of strong emotion into her project. 

“I took the concept of a rage room, and I incorporated more artistic aspects like canvas and paint,” Osborn said. “When my friends were angry or upset or stressed, I would take them there to physically release their emotions.”

While all of the people interviewed expressed something personal in their projects, each one represented themselves differently. When you go to the art show, you will see many different mediums and different concepts. 

Johnson is an art major with a focus in ceramics. However, her project is composed of figure drawings. Osborn is a double major in psychology and art, and her project is meant to combine the two. Even though both took different paths in their time at Augustana, they are both able to use the art show to express themselves in whatever way they choose.

Going into college, Johnson said she was not planning to become an art major. She discovered her passion for art at Augustana. 

“I came to school at Augie to be a veterinarian,” Johnson said. “Going into my sophomore year, I took one art class and I really, really liked it. It seemed better for me than going into veterinary school — I was not enjoying that major at all.”

One piece of advice that Johnson has for underclassmen is to go for the things they’re interested in. 

“Explore your interests and try new things,” Johnson said. “Talk to the professors — they’re the most helpful people, and they want you to do well.”

Similarly to Johnson, Barton did not go into college knowing exactly how her experience would go. As a transfer student from Blackhawk College in 2020, coming to Augustana gave Barton new opportunities. 

“I wanted to be a graphic design major, and now [at Augustana] I’m actually able to do that,” Barton said.

Barton, along with Johnson, emphasizes the importance of trying new things. “One piece of advice that I would give is to continuously learn,” Barton said. “There are some times I really regret not pushing myself to learn things outside of class. I would say push yourself for anything.”