Behind-the-scenes look at the art show process


Breanna Rae Weber

Senior art majors usually only have a few weeks to prepare their art show.

Breanna Rae Weber, Chief Photographer & Website Manager

Every year, Lakeland College’s Art Department puts on Senior Art Exhibitions that showcase the work of that year’s senior art majors. Many students and staff attend the receptions, where the featured senior artists present their work and give a speech, but how much work actually goes into putting together a show?

“This is a really big deal in the life of an artist,” said William Weidner, associate professor of art.

To prepare for their art show, students must choose artwork, prepare it for hanging, create flyers, hang flyers, write an artist statement which is when students define who they are and why they are an artist create a professional resume, prepare a speech, create labels and create a banner with their name.

After gathering everything that is needed, students then must decide a way to hang their work on the walls by either framing, matting (cutting a frame out of matboard; a thin, paper-based board), mounting (gluing the work on foamboard) or otherwise displaying their work in a professional manner that is appropriate for that specific piece. They hang all of the pieces in the Bradley Gallery of Art within a few days.

“Matting everything is tedious,” said Alhanna LaRose, senior art major. “The biggest challenge by far has been trying to figure out how I’ll incorporate everything I love in my show without cluttering up the walls.”

Each artist will choose to display 20 to 50 pieces of their work. The pieces are chosen from what they have created while in college, including class assignments or independent projects, and should be what they feel is the best reflection of their work. This can be through their best use of style, detail, time and many other factors.

“Artwork always looks so much better once it is hung on the walls of an art gallery, so that is the best part—seeing it all gathered together and presenting professionally,” said Weidner.

Depending on what calendar date their art show falls on during the semester, students usually only have a few weeks to put everything together.

“When coming back from winter break, I only had two and a half weeks to get everything ready,” said Kyle Kultgen, senior art major with an emphasis in graphic design. His art reception took place in January.

The next reception and convocation will be Jan. 27 at 4:30 p.m. and will feature the work of Alhanna LaRose, Breanna Weber and Tarah Johnson.

“It is very pleasing to consistently see very excellent attendance,” Weidner said. “Art is becoming a part of their life—a part of their Lakeland College experience.”