Hiram College
Shalimma Fadzil’s exhibit showcases still-life paintings and prints that discuss themes of family relations through the use of heirlooms of personal significance. Eric Klopfenstein’s prints layer figurative and geographical imagery to explore concepts of isolation and anonymity in a suburban environment.

The end of senior year is a time for capstones, reflections and moving forward for Hiram graduates.

But before moving on completely, the art department’s two graduating seniors are displaying their work one last time at the Gelbke Art Gallery for the annual Senior Art Exhibition.

At the beginning of the Spring 12-Week, both Eric Klopfenstein and Shalimma Fadzl, the two soon-to-be-graduates, had a few ideas for their exhibit, but whittled them down to one concept by the second week of the semester.

Klopfenstein, who spent until the last day of the 12-Week working on his exhibit, took some time to give insight about his work. The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, through May 11.

What is the theme of your exhibit, and why did you choose it?

Eric: The theme of my exhibition discusses isolation, socially and personally, in a suburban context. I feel that while suburbs are intended to be social communities where people interact and communicate on a day-to-day level, more often than not, people do not take advantage of the community they live in. Growing up in a suburb, I saw this daily, living on a street where I barely saw my neighbors and had never met most of them. My work seeks to make people aware of this problem, as well as inspire them to reach out to those around them instead of living in an isolated bubble.

What art media did you use for this project?

Eric: All of the pieces are prints that I made using the art department’s intaglio press. They are all monoprints, which means that from each plate (in this case plexiglass plates that were inked), you can only get one imprint. The pieces consist of several different layers pressed on top of each other.

How has Hiram shaped you as an artist?

Eric: Hiram has been very beneficial to my artistic growth, as it has let me work one-on-one with several professors. Both Chris Ryan (assistant professor of art) and Jack Carlton (adjunct art faculty) have been very influential and informative for me over the course of my time here. Since we had only two seniors for this year’s exhibition, Shalimma and I met with Chris two to three days a week to directly discuss the art we were producing and to get some real insight into the process and theme of what we were pursuing.

In terms of over my college career, Jack Carlton and I have worked closely during two independent studies. This experience has shaped my work as a printmaker, as well as helped me experience the varied media that printmaking can encompass. I also was Jack’s studio assistant for two semesters and helped him instruct his classes. This kind of attention would have not been available to me at a bigger school, and I am very grateful to the art faculty for their help and support for the last four years.

What’s next, after graduation?

Eric: Unfortunately, I was not accepted to a graduate program this year. However I intend to pursue a full time job in an art related field for this year, then reapply to grad programs next year. After completing a Masters in Fine Arts, I hope to get my teaching certification and find a job teaching art, perhaps at the high school or college level.

See more of the photos from the Senior Art Exhibition on Flickr.