Soeffker spotlight: Seniors ‘23


Cathryn Salis

Interactive exhibits included senior Gracee Hurley-Brown’s block and rock table, which explicitly encouraged attendees to pick up and play with the displayed figurines.

Cathryn Salis, Senior Reporter

As the year winds down, projects are completed and shows are performed, and spaces like Drew Fine Arts witness much of the madness. As the dance team performed their second night of their end-of-year recital, students and supporters filled the Anne Simley lobby in anticipation for the senior art show, Subject to Change.

The Soeffker Gallery was filled with art and attendees on Friday, April 21. Digital and Studio Arts (D+SA) seniors displayed their final projects that have been the culmination of their work in their senior seminar class. The walls were covered for the second weekend in a row with Hamline artist originals, as Subject to Change directly follows the D+SA Faculty Biennial and professor Andrew Wykes’ retirement show.

The show was the conclusion of many of these artist’s careers at Hamline and was an opportunity to gather friends and family to help them celebrate their work over the years.

“All these big people in my life just met each other and it’s like my worlds are colliding and I’m just standing in the middle of it,” senior artist Janell Hammer said.

As event attendees circled the exhibits and pieces, artists circled the gallery and stood by their works, able to chat with curious viewers and offer more information.

Some artists drew inspiration from their cultural heritage and background to find inspiration for their pieces. Senior Yoora Lovaas was among the artists who channeled their emotions about their cultural heritage into a dynamic and engaging display. Lovaas made greeting cards about cross-cultural adoption, and found that their invested emotion translated to the audience.

“People are reading my cards and someone came up to me and told me that they teared up reading them, and I didn’t realize my art could have such an effect on people,” senior artist Yoora Lovaas said.

A couple of the works were also interactive. Varied levels of play were offered to attendants, ranging from cards like Lovaas’s that could be picked up and read, to a table of custom blocks and trinkets, as displayed by senior Gracee Hurley-Brown.

“I liked the interactive stuff, like the blocks were cool,” junior attendee Jack Erickson said.

Each artist had a story to tell, and this show provided a platform for them to tell it. Hammer’s piece Divine Intervention spread across the back wall, and while being an impressive feat in terms of creativity, it is also a product of a special trip she took with her grandmother.

“All the photos of the prints were taken on a trip that me and my grandma took together over the summer,” Hammer said. “It’s super special. We traveled together to Paris and Belgium. My grandma has always wanted to travel but never had anyone to travel with, and I’ve always wanted to travel.”

Between touching hearts and blowing minds, these artists displayed the incredible range of mediums that Hamline artists are able to learn about and create in. Highlighting these D+SA seniors was a lovely send-off for the class of 2023.

The gallery was filled with attendees and the art stretched across the walls. Senior Janell Hammer had a piece titled “Divine Intervention” that filled the back wall with original prints as well as an oil portrait. Senior Emily Mckenzie displayed her sculptural foam and cloth figures as floor pieces scattered around the gallery. (Cathryn Salis)