Sophomore Project “Zeitgeist” delivers mesmerizing art work
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Beginning in both the fall and spring semester, various sophomores and juniors from the art department—mostly studio art majors with a few art minors or those studying art history—were enthused with a single word as their theme for their project: zeitgeist. This word, defined officially as “the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time,” brought a number of mesmerizing results from a wide variety of artistic mediums.
While the name of the course, “Sophomore Project,” suggests that those enrolled must be in their second-year of studying as declared art majors, minors, and art history majors, a few juniors were also enrolled in the class. One third-year student, Izzy Esber, created a project that culminated in an interactive structure of metal bars resembling a jail cell in front of various immigration documents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as a green card hanging from the ceiling, in which Esber encouraged in her artist statement for the viewers to “reach out and try to obtain the green card and feel how humiliating it is to try and receive citizenship.” Esber says she was “inspired by various family members of hers from Lebanon and their struggles to obtain citizenship and the many obstacles and prejudices they have faced being a Middle-Eastern family in the United States”.
For studio art majors, the class “is meant to serve as a practice run for the Senior Project, granting students an initial chance at creating work on their own time for the purpose of exhibition,” according to the class’ professor Dr. Scott Anderson. For art minors and art history majors, however, the class “gives the opportunity to partake in a group exhibition with their studio art major peers.”
Despite the course being only worth a single unit of credit and meeting just four times in the semester, an immense amount of work went in from the students to create their individual pieces. One student in particular, Madeline Lush, had a fond experience in the class. She commented, “This class has really helped me learn how to manage time and gave me a taste of how much work creating an exhibition is. It also taught me how to use criticism to improve and see my art from a different perspective.” Her piece, entitled “Desirous,” speaks on the “relationship that we have with technology. It touches on the growing dependence on the internet and technology now and how instead of a want is has become a need.” Coincidentally, her mother came to visit her for parents’ weekend from Hanoi, Vietnam and said that as an international student, it “can be hard for her to not have family nearby, especially when others can have their art displayed at Westmont so easily by their family members. This class was a personal highlight for me, as my mom was finally able to see all of the hard work that myself and the art department have put in.” The sophomore project exhibition “Zeitgeist” is available for viewing in ART-LAB 101 until April 17.