“Offerings” by EMU fine arts senior, Nichole Klein is on display in the Student Art Gallery, room 236. Managed by the Intermedia Gallery Group, Klein’s artwork was selected by the group because it fitted their criteria of artistic excellence, diversity of aesthetics, and attention to social and cultural contexts, as stated on their website.
Klein is from Holland, Michigan and has been drawing all of her life. She recently started painting when she was a sophomore at EMU. Her professor from her Studio Concepts class encouraged her to paint after she created one of her first painting pieces, which is in the gallery.
“I was a nursing major when I was a freshman but decided it wasn't for me when I got a job as an illustrator for housing and dining,” Klein said. “I figured well, I really love painting because I’m used to drawing, so I switched to a painting major and that’s what I have been doing ever since.”
The exhibit consists of a variety of materials such as mixed charcoal, printmaking and drawing. However, the most-used material in the exhibit is oil paint.
One of the pieces titled “ 8FR364” is made from oil paint and liquid leaf. It depicts a car on the highway and a woman overlapping the scene holding gold beads. Klein said that the scene of the car was a photo that someone has taken that she has found.
“One of my hobbies is that I collect people's discarded photos at antiques stores and thrift stores,” she said. “Some have film in them still so I get them developed and see all kinds of strange things. I then pick out a photo and paint it. It’s someone’s photo that they took and I added my own elements. It’s like a portrait or a discarded photo collage”
Her method of collecting photos also applies to another piece titled “ All is Well” where the photo is from the 60s depicting a car and the words “All is Well.”
“I got a series of photos and documented this car that a person got,” she said. “It’s a Buick Skylark. There were pictures of a dog on it and pictures of girls driving it and all of sudden there were pictures of it in this accident.”
“It’s the life of a car, this stranger's car, but not so much the stranger. I got to see its whole demise through the photos so I found it interesting and painted it,” she said.
“The Other Was Not To Grieve” is a polished cedar set with oil paint appliance. She said this piece was nostalgic for her since the cedar was from her grandpa. He used to work at a sawmill and has a collection of cedar.
“I’m so honored, I guess, to paint on something so beautiful,” she said. “It’s kind of like a preservation thing. I’m very lucky. ”