Art students of the Gwen Frostic School of Art will be preparing and showing their senior theses for the spring 2019 semester at the Richmond Center in the Devries Student Art Gallery in the coming months.

Many different experiences and interests have brought these students to Western Michigan University’s art program.

“When I was younger, I used one of those crappy point and shoot cameras, and that’s where I found my interest in art,” Kaitlyn Rode, a WMU photography student, said. “I took a lot of art classes in high school that had to do with photography, so that’s how I knew I wanted to continue.”

As a senior, students are asked to build a portfolio and show their final thesis in the senior exhibitions being held through April 19.

“The late nights where the whole building is empty, and you can turn up your music and bang out work are some of my best memories in the program,” Sidney Anderson, a print media senior said. “The fact that you can see your progression and see yourself getting better at what you do is what drives me to keep creating.”

Students pursuing a bachelors in fine arts can choose from a variety of areas to focus their work including sculptures, jewelry making, graphic design and many more.

“It’s hard to describe abstract ideas, so I wanted people to have their own interpretations because it’s constantly changing and unfolding,” Vinh Lee, sculpture art student at WMU said. “I think that’s what art is. It shouldn’t be one thing, it should be everything.”

Students work in connection with the Richmond Center to put on their senior exhibition and present their artwork to the public.  

“The senior exhibition is a good experience to have right before we have to graduate and do it on our own,” Rode said.

Some students have even had the opportunity to find clients on social media, through their jobs and the local community.

“I’ve had a lot of people come to me, but with school I haven’t had a lot of time to do commissioned work,” Rebecca Schaefer, senior graphic design student said. “People will approach me on Instagram as well as ask me to create designs for their business.”

As seniors, the students begin to make plans for their future and their goals as artists.

“After college, I’m looking to move to a bigger city and get into the art gallery scene,” Anderson said. “I’ve also thought about teaching at summer camps like Interlochen.”

If interested, you can find these artists’ work at their social media or at the senior exhibition through April in the Devries Student Art Gallery. Vinh Lee, sculpturist: Levinhart.com; Rebecca Schaefer, graphic design: @Schaefer.design on Instagram; Sidney Anderson, print media: @Everyexcuse on Instagram; and Kaitlyn Rode, photography: Rode_Photography on Instagram.

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