Since Nov. 16, the University Art Gallery has been showcasing the work of BFA students from the university.
Three students, Katherine Huber, a photography senior, Ben Quinno, a ceramics senior, and Nicole Vogelpohl, a photographer senior and Vangaurd photographer, have collections of their own work on display at the exhibit.
“All of my photographs on display are black and white self-portraits that I created earlier in the year, all of which tackle the issues of mental health,” Huber said.
Huber said she has been interested in the arts for a long time.
“I have always been quite interested in the arts, whether it be photography, cinematography, music — I’ve always found art more effective in expressing emotion,” Huber said. “Growing up, my grandpa always had a camera at the ready and I think that is something that really inspired me as a kid to explore the art of photography.”
Quinno also said he has been interested in art his entire life.
“The creative hands on approach to fine arts is what really intrigued me,” Quinno said. “Creating art gives me purpose in what I do and allows me to share a small piece of myself with everyone who experiences my work.”
In her artwork, Huber said she likes to take on specific topics.
The majority of my art is inspired by issues or concepts that affect me and my life,” Huber said. “This ranges anywhere from personal emotional experiences to political issues. I don’t limit myself when it comes to inspiration, but it has to be a topic I am passionate about.”
Huber said she took on a particularly important and relevant topic in her latest work.
“These pieces were inspired by my own struggles with mental illness and how it affects our self-image,” Huber said. “I really wanted to portray the struggles of mental illness and the idea of wrestling with our own mind.”
Quinno said he is particularly inspired by history.
“My work is inspired by the historical process of wood firing and honoring those traditions,” he said. “I also looked to my time in culinary school for inspiration when creating my table settings, making each piece with purpose and intent.”
In his display, Quinno displays his interest in history.
“My project ‘Flame Work’ explores the relationship between community and ceramics, exposing their codependency through history, process and functional application,” Quinno said. “I have created a series of wood-fired ceramic table settings that induce a sense of elegance, intimacy and functionality.”
Creating a collection of artworks is no easy task, and these students’ displays are no exception. Much of their work in the exhibit took from several months to even a year to complete.
Huber said she had a very positive experience with SVSU’s art department and advises anyone interested in studying art to check out the program.
“The community is so welcoming, and the professors are fantastic,” she said. “I am so grateful to have had such an amazing experience in the SVSU art program.”
After graduating from SVSU, both students plan to focus on building their portfolios with meaningful work before moving on to obtain an MFA.