Student Perspective: Engagements with the Escalette Collection
January 11, 2023
The Escalette Collection of Art is looking back at some of the fantastic work students created in the Fall 2022 semester based on artwork in the collection. Displaying artwork throughout Chapman’s campus allows students to engage with the collection, whether in their classes or just walking by. By bringing their unique backgrounds, perspectives, and knowledge to an artwork, the students and broader Chapman family work together to learn, shape, and redefine the collection in important ways.
Dr. Wendy Salmond’s Art History 335: Theories of Modernism class examined the intricacies and foundations of the art world as it developed during the 20th and 21st centuries. Throughout the class, students familiarized themselves with the Escalette Collection of Art by creating a Panther Perspective – a short, recorded response that will be used as a public audio guide. Their final project was to select a work from the collection to use as the inspiration to either curate a virtual exhibition or create their own artwork. Let’s look at just some of the wonderful interpretations of artworks from the Escalette Collection.
Sloan Watson’s Final Project – Art Project
Attracted to its bright colors and layers of pattern, Sloan Watson (Studio Art ’24) chose Bovey Lee’s Cross Section as inspiration for a knitted art project. Now known for her intricate paper cut sculptures, Cross Section was an early work created by the artist during graduate school. Cross Section reveals Lee’s early passion for intricate details that would come to shape the rest of her career. Sloan approached her knitted project with the same rigor for details, carefully selecting thirteen shades of yarn to match those in the painting and using a software system to design her own pattern.
“Upon first viewing the work, I took notice of the use of colors and their seemingly flat planes, which upon further observation consist of a variety of shades and underlying colors, likely achieved by glazing with oils, as well as a secondary composition that uses these colors to play with the sight of a nearly unidentifiable object in its background (one which is of a floral nature/motif). My product design intends to emulate these colors in a more simplified manner, finding the balance between detail and necessity, and using rudimentary colors to accurately represent the piece.” – Sloan Watson
Read more about Sloan’s project here. Cross Section is currently on display on the 4th floor of Beckman Hall.
Sophia Tefft’s Final Project – Virtual Exhibition
Sophia Tefft’s (Graphic Design ’24) based her final project on Jennifer Graves’ Love is a Verb letterpress print series. Graves’ practice is centered around developing ways to send clear, uplifting messages to her viewers by creating a harmony between old techniques (letterpress printing) and contemporary colors and words. Graves describes her printing as “intentional and uncomplicated, life is complicated enough so I want what I create to be clear.” The curation of a clear message became the inspiration for Sophia’s exhibition – an immersive room that would display “LOVE IS A VERB” on every surface in different colors. For her final project, Sophia created a mock-up of how this immersive experience would appear.
“A large part of all of Graves’ artworks is that what she is printing serves a purpose. She intends for her art to allow the viewer to wonder and reflect on what it means for them… These intentions outlined by the artist guide the goals behind the creation of the exhibit. Words have the ability to deliver a strong message, and the goal of the immersive exhibit is to encompass the viewer in Graves’ message. The goal is to amplify the message and intention that she is trying to communicate in her original piece… using color and form to highlight the original work and encourage the audience to promote Grave’s message of taking action to spread love.” – Sophia Tefft
Read more about Sophia’s project here. Love is a Verb is currently on display on the 2nd floor of Roosevelt Hall.
We invite you to explore all the works in the Escalette Collection by visiting our eMuseum.
Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences is the proud home of the Phyllis and Ross Escalette Permanent Collection of Art. The Escalette Collection exists to inspire critical thinking, foster interdisciplinary discovery, and strengthen bonds with the community. Beyond its role in curating art in public spaces, the Escalette is a learning laboratory that offers diverse opportunities for student and engagement and research, and involvement with the wider community. The collection is free and open to the public to view.