As part of the curriculum for Art majors at Kalamazoo College, seniors are required to take the 400-level Advanced Studio class. The students are assigned different projects, allowing them to experiment before they all work on their SIP during the winter term. The class meets every Tuesday and Thursday at Park Trades Center in downtown Kalamazoo, and each student is assigned a studio space based on their medium needs. For example, Zoe Johannsen ‘18 requires more darkness than other students as she is doing her SIP in photography. “They asked us what we wanted in terms of space, and mainly I need to be able to control the amount of light because it might affect my work,” Johannsen said.
The class currently has 14 students who all used different mediums for their work. The mediums range from painting to photography to ceramics to photography to fabric work. Johannsen works with photography while Bonnie Darrah ‘18 works with print-making. For their projects, Darrah said, “I’m making prints based on mind maps, which are mysticism diagrams.” Julia Koreman ‘18 is making wooden collapsible structures that can be changed based on how people interact with it. “I like the idea of engaged play,” Koreman said. With all these different mediums being used at the same time, the senior art majors are able to see what their peers are creating. Johannsen, says, “With this class, we are able to build off each other, and now we all know each other, which I think is rare in a department.”
By working at Park Trades Center, some of the art students are given their first experiences working in a studio space. Johannsen said, “We understand having a gallery space now.” Usually the F.A.B. is where most of the art classes meet, but working at Park Trades Center has given them a new space to create their work. As Darrah said, “It’s a nice head space to create in.”
While the seniors start thinking about what to create for their SIP, some think it is too early to know exactly what they will do in the winter, but the class is helping them to prepare with research and experimentation that they may not have time for during the winter. “The research portion has been really helpful. I’ve been looking at the history of mind-maps, and the next step is looking into related artists,” Darrah said. The students will have access to Park Trades Center in the winter to work on their SIPs.
To see more of the students’ work, make sure to head to next month’s Art Hop at Park Trades Center Studio 312 where the seniors showcase the pieces they have been working on in the class.