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Lakeland College will spotlight the work of six senior art students when the final Lakeland Senior Art Student Portfolio Exhibitions opens on Friday, March 9.
Jenni Heinrich, Cindy Short, Ross Soukup, Zhiheng Gu, Brooks Haas and Mai Lee will discuss their work during an opening reception beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Bradley Gallery, located in the Bradley Fine Arts Building on Lakeland's campus.
The exhibit, which will feature works created by these students during their time at Lakeland, will run through April 6. The Bradley Gallery is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the college is in session. Attendance at the reception and admittance to the Bradley Gallery are both free and open to the public.
The senior art show is a requirement for all Lakeland art majors. Students gain the experience of having their own exhibit, and are responsible for planning the show, putting the public relations together, hanging their work and any other details.
Gu hails from China, and is pursuing a bachelor's degree in art with both a studio and graphic art emphasis. He is a Lakeland Presidential Scholarship recipient, is a member of Lakeland's Conversation Partner program and is vice president of the Global Student Association.
"Color and emotion are two major reasons for me to create art," Gu said. "Art helps me to enjoy my life more, because I can do something with in my mind that is not always realistic. Because I like to read stories, I like to make my illustrations to tell stories. In my illustrations, I express my emotion and thoughts."
Haas, of Howards Grove, will finish at Lakeland after starting college at Carroll College. He will earn a bachelor of art with a graphic art and studio emphasis. He is serving an internship with Dynamic, a digital agency in Sheboygan.
"I've always liked to dabble in a little bit of everything in my life and hobbies; this carries over artistically as well," Haas said. "Drawing has always been a strong point for me, but my love for digital art is growing. At the same time, I find myself somewhat sad that technology is overtaking many forms of art.
"I very much enjoy black & white film photography. Developing the film yourself and physically making the prints seems to have a more rewarding feeling attached to it. There seems to be a certain quality you get with a film print that a digital print doesn't have without a bit of doctoring."
Heinrich, of Sheboygan Falls, is also on track to graduate this May with a bachelor's in art with a graphic design emphasis. She has worked at the Lakeland College Mirror designing pages for the student newspaper and illustrating comics, and she designed updated menus for Bourbon Street Pub and Grill in Sheboygan.
"My favorite programs to work with are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign," Heinrich said. "I love taking pictures, and now that I have been working with Adobe Photoshop, I have learned some astounding ways to manipulate photos and make them more eye-catching."
Short, of Plymouth, is also on track to graduate this May with a bachelor's in art with a graphic design emphasis. She also took interior design coursework at Mt. Mary College in the 1990s. She is the recipient of two scholarships at Lakeland, including a Presidential Scholarship. She served a graphic design internship with Lakeland's career development office, and was commissioned to paint a watercolor of the Intergenerational Center in Plymouth.
"My life experiences have influenced my work and have become my method of expressing myself," Short said. "I have a hard time getting started on a piece, but once I get started it feels like it flows onto the paper. I like my work to be light and have a happy feel to it so that it can bring joy into a room."
Soukup, of Plymouth, is pursuing a bachelor's in art with a graphic arts emphasis. He worked as an intern at Two Fish Gallery in Elkhart Lake, and has worked for Lakeland's art department. He has been awarded two scholarships, and the Kuehn Achievement Award.
"My technique is based around very rough, hard strokes," Soukup said. "I apply a medium deliberately, and in many layers. I press the mediums hard into the paper, almost as if I am angry. After I have completed a satisfactory piece, my objective is for my audience to immediately enjoy the piece."