Grace Students Celebrate Talent, Style in Senior Thesis Show

Warsaw native Christina Baughman with her work at the Senior Thesis Show now on display in Mount Memorial Art Gallery

Business. Photography. Illustration. Therapy. Marketing and travel blogs. The avenues of expression for seniors in the Grace College Department of Visual, Performing and Media Arts are as varied as the students themselves. Each tells their story through their work, which will be showcased now through Feb. 3 in the Mount Memorial Art Gallery, 808 Kings Highway, Winona Lake. The gallery is open to the public from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 – 4 p.m. on Saturday. The community is also invited to the opening reception on Friday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m.

The first Senior Thesis Show of 2018 will display the work of students Christina Baughman, Carley Brechner, Megan Gunkel, Kelsey Kirkendall, Lauren Rekeweg, Anastasia Suderman, Michelle Sweers, and Caleb Yoder.

Christina Baughman, a Warsaw native, creates harmony between business and art to make a marketing impact. “I see marketing as a two-sided coin with a business side and an art side; without one it is impossible to have a strong and complete marketing program,” Baughman explains. “I achieve both artistic influence and business relationships by using business and art to strengthen one another through marketing.”

Carley Brechner is an illustration major from Fishers, Indiana, who dreams of creating children’s books. She uses her experiences of growing up in New Zealand and Thailand as a missionary’s kid to weave other cultures and biblical messages into her work. Brechner explains, “Through my artwork, I strive to show people they are valuable and there is beauty in the world.”

Megan Gunkel, of Juneau, Alaska, is an aspiring art therapist whose work focuses on art as a way to achieve good mental health. Gunkel explains, “My show reflects my passion for embracing the connection between art and psychology.”

Kelsey Kirkendall uses art as a storytelling medium. Whether she is working on the brand of a local business or the art for a children’s book, the Lima, Ohio, native wants to understand the story of her subject, their history and experiences. Kirkendall explains, “My work often focuses on people because every person is a story written by their past, their background, and their lived experiences.”

Every aspect of a company communicates a message, and for Lauren Rekeweg, that message is the core of the relationship with customers. Her focus on detail and message made her collaboration with Thunder Lakes, an indoor range and outdoor equipment retailer, into a project that demonstrates the power of a strong brand. Rekeweg is from Auburn, Indiana.

A Goshen native, Anastasia Suderman created Waves & Caves because she needed a travel blog with practical information, and she hopes the information and imagery will be both helpful and inspirational for others. She designed postcards as a way to capture memories in a tangible form. “The material token of a postcard is something that can be looked back on to conjure up the memorable moments and shared experiences that happened in that location,” said Suderman.

Michelle Sweers is captivated by the details. “I adore the pretty colors in pebbles and tiny grains of sand,” Sweers explained. Her portfolio is a celebration of the details that God put into his creation for humans to wonder at and appreciate. Sweers is from Union, Michigan.

As a photographer, Wakarusa native Caleb Yoder enjoys capturing a variety of subjects and locations, from portraits to landscapes. For his senior project, he used both to display and celebrate people and the natural world. His portraits take advantage of light and capture interesting visual elements, while his landscapes usually feature people as a way to develop scale. “I enjoy these two types of photography the most because they allow me to capture the beauty in people and in nature,” explains Yoder.

For more information about upcoming art exhibits and the Department of Visual, Performing and Media Arts at Grace College, visit here or call 574.372.5100 ext. 6024.

Megan Gunkel

Anastasia Suderman

Michelle Sweers

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