DeVos hosts senior art exhibition

Grace Williams

Imagine walking into an art exhibit and seeing one of your friend’s works on the wall. That is exactly what will happen Dec. 1-12 in the DeVos Art Museum on Northern Michigan University’s campus.

re-AH_Art and Design Show

Graduating seniors from the School of Art and Design will have the opportunity to showcase their personal artwork in an exhibition. The Senior Art Exhibition will feature over 40 students this semester. These students worked closely with DeVos Art Museum curator and director Melissa Matuscak during the week of Nov. 17-23 to prepare their work and installing it. Matuscak helps the students install their work into the museum a few weeks before the event every year.

Being included in the exhibit is not just a unique experience—   this activity is required for graduation. Students enrolled in AD 403 Senior Art Exhibit must take part in the exhibition as a part of the course. One of the exhibit’s benefits is for the students to prepare to “present their work to the public,” Matuscak said.

“Whether it’s a gallery exhibition, meeting with a potential client or writing a business plan for a small business loan, they need to be able to present their work visually and verbally to a wide audience,” Matuscak said. “For many students, this is their first time preparing their work to show to the general public.”

Matuscak said the different types of art included are ceramics, drawing/painting, digital cinema, electronic imaging, furniture design, graphic communication, human centered design, illustration, jewelry/metals/blacksmithing, photography, printmaking, sculpture and woodworking.

“Pretty much all areas of the School of Art and Design are represented in the exhibition,”      Matuscak said.

AD 403 professor Mike Letts said there is a new aspect of the exhibition this semester. “A student created, self-published magazine, called a ‘zine,’ with work from each student, that is now available free in limited quantities at the museum,” Letts said. “This gives them experience with presenting work in published format, and something they can take away and keep as a documentation of their shared experience as NMU art students.”re-KM_Art Show

Senior art education and photography major Nina Fiorucci said she feels as though having this exhibition required for seniors is beneficial in the education of artists here at Northern Michigan University.

“Not many undergraduate programs require gallery exhibition, or even provide such a space,” Fiorucci said. “This experience is very beneficial for students because we learn how to navigate a gallery space.”

Fiorucci describes her work in the exhibit as a “conceptual representation of how we use photography to preserve dead loved ones.” Fiorucci gives praise to Matuscak for “structur[ing] a great experience that makes students very responsible for installing their own work.”

Fiorucci said the students arrange their own work in the museum. This gives the students knowledge that “puts [them] above the competition because [they] can have informed conversations with curators” about the presentation of artwork.

“There is also the esteem of showing at an internationally known art museum,” Fiorucci said. “So both aspects of knowledge and the fact that it’s the DeVos give us graduates confidence.”

For Fiorucci, it is also important that current art students see the show. Learning about fellow art students and what they are creating could be beneficial for one’s own creativity. “I remember every semester, I was so inspired by the senior show,” Fiorucci said.

The DeVos Art Museum is free.  There will be a closing reception for the exhibition from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12.