Conkling Gallery is currently displaying works by the graduating senior art students. The gallery has a high diversity of mediums and styles, including typography, sculpture, screen printing, and ceramics.
When you enter the room you’re greeted by illustrations on the walls to your left. Most include bright colors, and there are some incredible pop-up effects on some of the works to give them a three dimensional perspective.
My favorite was probably the cow that felt like it was reaching right off the page. The artist played with both photographs and a more cartoonish illustrative style, giving the works a whimsical feel.
Down the wall were some vibrant screen printed works, using fine detail and layering to create beautiful pieces. I had to check one of them for a price tag because I liked it so much.
Screen printing is such a satisfying type of art, and very versatile. I always like seeing the kinds of things people create with it, and I would love to try it out more extensively myself.
Sitting on a display were some books, or at least I initially thought they were books.
They had handmade covers and descriptions, but they were made of ceramic. Some of them had a few cracks or chips, and it just really added to the vintage aesthetic.
I’d love to see some jumbo versions of them outside the Otto Recreation Center in place of the current stone books.
A sculpture that trails onto the floor is also very eye catching. I thought the bottom anchors looked a lot like slices of agate. The many blues in the sculpture also appealed to me. Working with a lot of physical space takes thought and experience to pull off well.
On the back wall were a lot of works with a very nice comic book vibe. There were some regular rectangular pieces, but the artist also took a more dynamic approach and illustrated pieces that formed the shape of a person. The black and white character art really stood out with some nice deep blue backgrounds.
Some students made some very inspired works that function as products, such as a very entertaining and witty looking card game and some comfy sweatshirts. All were branded in ways that looked great without seeming too much like advertisements. The artists really got creative with the logos and some of the typography.
It’s awesome to see such talented artists graduating and creating these fantastic works. The value and versatility of art is often written off as being much less significant than it is, but these students all have the skill to create great things.
Maybe we’ll all be buying products designed by these MNSU graduates soon, or going to galleries and seeing familiar names.
The art community is constantly changing and encouraging unique expressions of thought, which is evident when you go to galleries like Conkling and browse through different artists’ works. I hope that each of these students graduates feeling great about all their work, and motivated to go on to create even more.
Photos by Mansoor Ahmad/MSU Reporter.