A.F.A. Exhibition: Through a Different Lens at Gallery 120

Now through Wednesday, May 8, 2024 Opening Reception: Tuesday, April 23, 2024 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Through a Different Lens, an exhibition by graduating Art Transfer Pathway A.F.A. majors at Inver Hills Community College, is showing now through Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at Gallery 120. A.F.A. artists featured in the exhibition are Emma Hendricks, Abigail Stai, and Hashten Mochinski. Art shows and exhibitions are hosted at the Gallery 120 brick-and-mortar location in the atrium of the Fine Arts building on the college’s campus in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.

“Join us Tuesday, April 23, 2024, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts atrium and Gallery 120 to celebrate our Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) students who are graduating this May,” said Janell Hammer, the college’s 2D CLA and Gallery 120 coordinator. “Food and drinks will be available. Best wishes and hope to see you there!”

WHAT: Through a Different Lens

WHO: A.F.A. Student Artists
Graduating this May

WHEN: Now thru May 8, 2024

WHERE: Gallery 120

Opening Reception
Tuesday, April 23, 2024 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Fine Arts Building
Inver Hills Community College
2500 80th Street East
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
General: 651-450-3000
Gallery 120: 651-450-3101

Emma Hendricks Artist Statement

One in a Million, February 2024, Oil and acrylic with paper collage on canvas
From the Shadows, January 2024, Oil on Canvas

An artist’s work is constantly evolving. Life experiences and knowledge gained can shape creations in ways never thought possible. I have been creating art for 15 years, and yet never felt a strong connection to it until recently.

As a child I was obsessed with artists and films about the creative process; I spent hundreds of hours watching how Pixar movies were made, reading about Leonardo da Vinci, and following drawing tutorials. Growing up I retained this love of art, and started striving to create pieces that were realistic. I assumed that replicating life was the epitome of good artwork. All the teachers I had pushed realism as our goal, many artists I looked up to had realistic work, and the people surrounding me always praised artwork that could easily be mistaken for photographs.

Calm Before the Storm, March 2024, Oil and acrylic on canvas

As life went on I grew to appreciate every style of work, not viewing any as more valuable than another; however, I still strove for realism within my own art. By the time I started college I was proud of my skills, but started to realize that my art had no meaning. The people around me were telling their own stories through their work, while all I could seem to do was replicate a photograph. I realized that I didn’t just want to connect to people through someone else’s creative lens, I wanted to reach people with my own voice. It’s always been incredible to me how artwork can touch people on a deeper level, and how our emotions are influenced by something as simple as shapes and color.

At What Cost, February 2024, Acrylic paint on ceramic

I started experimenting with using minimal colors in many of my pieces, limiting my palette to expand the reach of the work. This purposeful use of color can be seen in many of my pieces, as I have had fun playing with the different ways each one is perceived. Red can be seen as both anger and love, yellow as happiness and caution, and blue as both calm and sadness (as depicted in Calm Before the Storm).

Whether or not you see the emotions I intended to convey, I hope that you feel something in the pieces you see today. Whether you see joy in From the Shadows as the hand reaches towards the light, or suffering in the others that cannot reach, I hope you are moved. I hope the message of One in a Million resonates, and makes you look deeper into the world around you. Most of all, I hope my work helps you. I hope it heals you. I hope you see what you need and that you can connect with my pieces as I have learned to do.

Emma Hendricks, Left Behind, November 2023, Series of photographs

Abigail Stai Artist Statement

Ceramic Rubber Duck, 2024, Clay with Underglaze

My name is Abigail, and I focus on two main types of art: clay and photography.

Table Set Still Life, 2023, Acrylic Paint on Hardboard Panel

I love forming something new that no one else has created. With the mindset that I want to bring joy to people with the work I create. The way I work to achieve this goal is by making art that are happy and simple. I find simple things to not overwhelm my brain but instead relax it, and my eyes simply get to enjoy the work. I believe most things made with clay can be transformed into beautiful creations.

Joyous Dolphin, Clay with Underglaze, Happy Bear, Clay with Glaze, 2023

Although clay starts as a formless mass, it can become a magnificent and meaningful art piece through shaping. My work aims for that goal by paying attention to the detail and design I put into the pieces. Two things that I draw inspiration from are real and stuffed animals. One of my main goals is to get my creations to be as accurate as the original they were based upon. A way that I help the viewer fully grasp what the objects are, is by using shape, color, and texture.

Historical Pinch Vase, 2023, Clay with Glaze

Another one of my passions is photography. One of my favorite things is capturing people in their everyday lives to show that we are all the same in some ways. Many different forms and subjects can be chosen when taking pictures, but portraits and mundane scenes are by far my favorites. When I was younger, I liked to walk around with a camera and narrate what I saw. It ranged from what my siblings were doing to what our house looked like. I was raised to appreciate the small and simple things in life, and that’s what I like to express in my work.

Another direction I like to take my photography is recreating scenes from movies or TV shows. For instance, I created a collection based on Disney princesses and princes. The work is meant to portray Disney Characters in a modern setting. The outfits are made up of articles of clothing that were already available for me to access, and the locations are mainly in a country house. The creative side behind setting things up, such as props or the background, is something that I find incredibly fun.

Abigail Stai, Photo Series

Hashten Mochinski Artist Statement

Little Fox, 2024, Oil on Canvas
Bathroom Sink, 2023, Charcoal

I am a photographer, painter, and illustrator. My art often depicts nature or mundane moments that I try to find the beauty in. I find myself often mesmerized by objects and scenes in my everyday life which leads me to notice small details. I get lost the way light reflects off certain surfaces or how the sun illuminates hills while it sets. In my art, I always try to spend an extra few moments looking at things to figure out if there’s a different angle or perspective that would be more interesting.

Its ok to not be okay, 2023, Luster Paper

For my photography, this is very literal. I’ll always take a few photos of the same subject or scene, just changing my perspective. Occasionally, I’ll go from looking at a wide open area to zooming in on something such as a guardrail. It always makes me smile to look through my old photos and remembering the experiences from all of the places I’ve been. Remembering all of the details and immersing myself into the entire scene to feel the emotions of being at that place again.

Mossy Guardrail, 2023, Luster Paper

When drawing or painting, I try to find ways to make any subject interesting. It can be finding all of the small details and shadows of a tissue box under a desk light, or a close up of a fox done on a large canvas. I love getting to the point of adding final touches to a piece. Not only does it give it a finished look, I also enjoy giving my attention to those small details. It lets me look at a piece after I’m done and be mesmerized by the accuracy, the same way that I would with a real scene.

Adventurous Hills, 2022, Luster Paper
Learn more about the A.F.A. Exhibition: Through a Different Lens at Gallery 120 by contacting:

Janell Hammer
Gallery 120 Coordinator
Art Department 2D Art CLA
Gallery 120 on Facebook
Gallery 120 Online

Learn more about the Art Transfer Pathway A.F.A. at Inver Hills by contacting:

Rob Kolomyski
Painting and Drawing Faculty

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