Senior Art Therapy Major Krista Heller’s show opened in the Gilson Gallery in King Hall on Friday. Heller’s exhibit is made primarily from paper and relates to her future field with its sky blue hues and an interactive portion that allows visitors to purge secrets.
“I wanted it to be kind of like a surreal park theme,” Heller said.
The exhibit opened last week, but the reception for Heller’s senior art show is from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 1in theBruder Theatre lobby. Senior Art Therapy Major Mendalyn Garland said the show exemplified the feeling of serenity.
“I think it’s very nice to have a welcoming presence especially since she did mix the art therapy with her art exhibit; it was almost like a dream world,” Garland said.
Heller said she wanted to make an environment entirely out of paper because she thinks it is a resource that is often taken for granted. Using different paper sculpture techniques including a German technique called scherenschnitte, Heller created a garden of paper flowers, a tree silhouette background, birds that hang from the gallery’s ceiling and a paper mache willow tree.
“I really liked making the paper flowers in the flower garden and the birds, but the flowers I did get sick of it after awhile because I spent lots and lots of hours on those,” Heller said.
Along with the sort of peaceful environment Heller’s show provides, along one wall, visitors to the gallery can pick up note cards, write “secrets” on them and tape them up. Heller said she wanted to allow people to meditate and reflect while making it interactive.
Assistant Professor of Sculpture and gallery coordinator Roberta Eichenberg said many undergraduate students don’t create an exhibit where viewers actually contribute to the art. She said it is very similar to a blog called “Post Secret.”
“This is kind of a focal point of this show and it’s the thing that she’s asking you to do too is to contribute your secrets and it’s a way of purging. There have been a few projects with that concept… so it’s kind of a take on that and it’s almost like a confessional in a way,” Eichenberg said.
Heller said she began researching for this project last December. She said Eichenberg helped her with some of her ideas and bringing the show together.
“She was kind of a mentor throughout the whole thing, I bounced questions off of her and she gave me ideas of what materials and things like that to use,” Heller said.
Eichenberg said the senior art show is a professional platform for students. She said most students who put on a show don’t realize how much time it takes between creating the art and installing it in the final show.
“People don’t realize how much time it takes and I don’t really tell them how much time it takes because they don’t believe me. Everybody is like,‘that’s easy, that looks easy so it must be easy,’” Eichenberg said.
Garland said after having classes with Heller and seeing her show, it was exciting to see someone incorporate art therapy into a gallery.
“For anyone who is able to take the chance to observe it and attend it, I think it was a very nice, different approach to having an art exhibit at ESU and I was really proud of her,” Garland said.