By Jessica Schurmann
A man stands on top of a steep road. Ahead, the road dips down into a black void, surfacing again in the distance with fading streetlights. This scene is depicted in one of Zach Stark’s paintings, which convey personal memories of his past.
Senior fine arts majors Anna Johnson, Erica Johnson and Zach Stark opened their senior exhibition, Studio 3, Wednesday, Oct. 10, which will run until Nov. 2.
The show consists of ceramics, paintings and photographs, all assembled cohesively in Viterbo’s small gallery space.
Anna Johnson focused on ceramics for her degree, specifically the combination of animals and human emotion. Her strongest and most popular pieces by far were a set of six ceramic vessels with lids shaped as animal heads. The animals are very organic and complementary with one another as well as with their vase-shaped bodies. Her work also consisted of two drawings, and many other beautiful ceramic bowls, plates and vessels which followed the same theme.
Erica Johnson brought something fresh to the exhibition with Polaroid photo exhibits. She told the audience at the art show opening that she is quite interested in humans and human interaction. Older cameras captured life better than newer ones, she said. Her work was very personal and interactive. Erica also included three digital photographs that captured the beauty of her human and natural subjects.
At the gallery opening, Stark explained the incredible journey he has been on through his artwork. His oil paintings encompass a series that shows the feeling and memory of particular locations in Prairie du Chien, WI, where he grew up. He used bright colors, layered textures and simple forms to describe these places in an abstract and dramatic way. His works are very personal but can be shared with viewers as locations become familiar to others as well.
All three students will graduate in December of 2012. Erica is planning to save money for graduate school while her sister Anna is applying for the Jet Program, which will allow her to teach in Japan. Stark is seeking a career with his computer information systems degree, while he may also pursue some entrepreneurial projects.
The art gallery is located on the 3rd floor of the Fine Arts Center, and it is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday through Friday. Studio 3 will run until November 2.