Hiram College

elle-rochfordThis spring, Hiram College junior Elle Rochford’s artwork will be on its largest stage yet, at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Her piece Cubist Crucifixion was accepted as part of the museum’s Connecting With Caporali exhibit. Open to college students in Northeast Ohio, the show was juried by a panel of museum staff, and Rochford’s piece was one of 30 accepted. The exhibit will be on display April 5 through June 2, 2013.

“For a small program at a small liberal arts college, we’re proud of how the artwork of our students matches up with the work coming out of larger universities and art schools,” said Christopher Ryan, associate professor of art, who encouraged her to enter the show. “The fact that her work is receiving this kind of significant exposure and publicity is a testament to her discipline and sense of creative process, as well as the in-depth study and critical thinking that she brings to her art-making.”

cubist-crucifixionRochford, an art major and Akron native, spent more than 80 hours creating Cubist Crucifixion. The prompt asked college students to create any kind of artwork in response to the Caporali Missal, a 15th century Renaissance missal recently acquired by the Cleveland Museum of Art. Rochford chose to use stippling (the technique of using tiny dots) to create a one-and-one-half by two-foot image of the crucifixion.

She said it is extremely rewarding to get this kind of recognition in the type of work she one day hopes to do for a living.

“This is big for me because it kind of legitimizes a lot of the work I’ve been doing,” Rochford said. “It really has inspired me to enter more things, at more places, actually moving from making work for myself and being self-conscious about it, to actually wanting to display my work, which is important if I want to be an artist, letting people see it.

“It definitely is rewarding when you spend that much time on a project, and then have someone validate it. So hopefully it will push me because I want more of this.”

Rochford will attend an artists’ reception April 5, 2013, the exhibit’s opening date, where she will get to meet the other artists and see the other accepted pieces. She said she is excited to be able to share the experience of having her work displayed in a museum with her family, who have been nothing but supportive.

Recently, Rochford has earned other recognition for her artwork. She received runner-up honors and acceptance of two of her pieces into the online gallery of Creative Quarterly, an international juried magazine, and the Award for Excellence in the Hiram College student juried art show. She will be studying abroad to Florence during the upcoming Spring 3-Week, where she hopes to grow even more as an artist.

“I think it will broaden my views,” she said. “I think anything you can add to your visual memory is important, especially being in a Renaissance capital.”

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