Seniors showcase their last artwork at Augustana

Krystina Slack

After days, hours and years of expressing their artistic passion at Augustana, the seniors in the art, art history and graphic design departments are ready to present their work in this year’s Senior Art Show.

Beginning April 24 through May 14, the annual Senior Art Show will be open in Wallenberg Hall. This art show will feature senior inquiry projects from students in the art, art history and graphic design majors. Many of these students will also be participating in the Celebration of Learning presentations on May 10.

The students who will be showing off their work have put a lot of time, effort and energy into their projects. Each project is unique and will bring something inspiring to the exhibit.

Senior Hannah Knuth is an art history and communication studies major whose senior inquiry project is a combination of both of her majors and is about interactive and immersive art exhibits.

“I’m doing [my project] on immersive exhibits and how Claude Monet’s works are exhibited in those types of museums, then how those exhibits use mass communication and marketing to entice younger audiences and display art in a different form,”Knuth said. “So it’s more emotional and educational rather than, just like, the traditional viewing art from behind the rope and you don’t really get to interact with it as much.”

Senior Faith Pickslay is an art major who has worked hard to make sure that during the celebration of learning everyone will be able to enjoy her work, no matter their major.

“I’ve tried the whole time to make my pieces accessible to non-art folk because I just think it’s important to have that aspect of works,” Pickslay said. “I hope ideally that anyone can connect to the pieces and I think that’s one of the benefits of abstract pieces.” 

Pickslay’s pieces deal with repetition and patterns.

“So for example, if you lose a loved one or you’re mentally ill in some capacity or just mentally unwell in general, something that gives a lot of these groups comfort is repetition,” Pickslay said.

With every art show, there are worries about how the art will be protected while on display, as the show will be run during normal business hours with little to no security. Senior Riley Scranton, an art history major, said he was concerned about this.

“The pieces are going to be sitting there for a month or so before we actually present,” Scranton said. “It’s concerning because there’s no one there. There’s no way to ensure that they won’t be messed with or anything like that, and I know personally that I’ve taken a lot of pride and time in the piece that I made.” 

According to Scranton, costume jewelry and food products have been stolen from the Brunner Theatre several times this academic year. Because there are no security cameras and the building is often unlocked, preventing theft is difficult. Anyone could just walk in. It is going to be a similar situation in Wallenberg where anyone can come in or out, and there is little to no security watching over the art pieces.

Art is an important aspect of campus. Augustana has a permanent art installation and there is also art in almost every single academic building. Many of these works are overlooked by students according to Scranton, but they are an important part of the campus community. 

“Sometimes it feels as if the school doesn’t feel like [art is] important, which is concerning because I don’t feel like until these things go away [that] the school and the campus community [will] really realize how important all of these things are,” Scranton said. 

There will be a variety of different works of art at the Senior Art Show that students and staff can enjoy. Everyone should go and take a look at the piece while they are on display to show support for the seniors and the art programs here at Augustana.

“I just hope that they’re able to connect with the work in some way,” Pickslay said. “Even if it’s completely different from my experiences… For anyone, even one person, to come and see the work and connect with it in any way, I would be happy.”


Hannah Knuth previously worked for the Observer.