‘Senior Showcase’ unveils culmination of creativity

Graduating artists are preparing to leave their final mark on Minnesota State.

Inside the “Senior Showcase” exhibition in Conkling Gallery, the works of seniors obtaining BFA’s in the art department will have their crafts on display in two halves from April 1-12 and April 22-May 2.

“The coolest thing that people can do is create and make things because what are we here for if it’s not to create something new, or create something that you see in your head?” MSU senior Liv Meinberg said. 

Meinberg, a ceramics-focused student with a second concentration in printmaking, ties together elements of human and nature through her artwork. From clay legged fruits to a woodcut swan, she emphasizes her many different directions in the art program through her arranged pieces. 

“I love how ceramics has a mind of its own,” Meinberg said. “The clay, sometimes it’ll just move or when you fire it, it gets smaller — you never really know what’s gonna happen until it does happen.”

Meinberg’s recent interest in printmaking soared since taking classes under Associate Professor Josh Winkler, who is also the gallery director and oversees the exhibition productions.

“We really need creative problem solvers right now and I think the more weird, quirky, interesting, off-the-wall ideas that creative people are coming up with, the better we’re gonna be for it in the future,” Winkler said. 

The gallery itself shows work from all over the board, featuring graphic designs, sculptures, ceramics, photographers, printmakers, drawings and paintings. 

“The themes are really driven by the students in the direction of their studies,” Winkler said. 

This exhibition puts the cap on a trail of primarily graduate students, faculty and professional touring artists, giving students the opportunity to reach an audience for potentially their first time. 

“The process of curating their work into a space and hanging it and learning that practical process will be valuable for future exhibitions because this is just the beginning,” Winkler said. 

Meiberg’s time spent in Winkler’s classroom since her secondary focus was born her sophomore year shines through her variety of printmaking pieces.

“I really have been appreciating Josh as a professor, just learning a new medium because the thing about being an artist is trying all different things,” Meinberg said. “I feel like I’m trying something new every other week and I’m figuring out, ‘Oh, I like this. Oh, I don’t like that,’ or I’ll incorporate this thing into something else, so it keeps on developing over time.”

The art she holds dearest are her water-related pieces and aquatic creatures.  Stemmed from her struggle and dedication during her time as a competitive swimmer, her work reflects the energy she put into improving her craft inside the pool and the studio. 

“I have an interesting relationship with the sport that I did; I’m learning how to play in water at this point, so it’s bringing something that I went through growing up and having fun with it now,” Meinberg said. 

Meinberg will tackle her next venture in property management following her degree. 

The exhibition entirely recognizes the effort of each graduating senior, and sets them afloat toward their future endeavors. 

“We have some really strong students that we’re proud to have worked with, we have a great department, we all work really hard, faculty and students, and it’s a time to celebrate,” Winkler said.

Write to Mercedes Kauphusman at mercedes.kauphusman@mnsu.edu

Header Photo: MSU seniors graduating with a BFA in the art department are displaying their art in Conkling Gallery for the “Senior Showcase” exhibition part 1 April 1-12 (Davis Jensen/The Reporter)

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