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Lewis & Clark exhibit celebrates students' creativity

Nineteen graduating seniors are honored with a display in the school's Hoffman Gallery


SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lewis & Clark senior Lawrence Kirk created a 'Maza Liam' of a past life, a meditational place that he says brought his soul 'back down to Earth.'Four years of study and practice have converged into one exhibition at Lewis & Clark College, where 19 graduating seniors are displaying their artwork through May 8.

Each of the students was given absolute freedom to create a signature piece after embarking on a creative and often very personal journey in the fall. Their work will be on display in the school's Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art, which is located at 615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road in Portland.

The Senior Art Exhibition is free and open to the public from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

“It’s a very celebratory moment in the Lewis & Clark community,” says Linda Tesner, the gallery’s director, who says she continues to be amazed by graduating seniors, even after 18 years at the school.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Emma McKhann's three drawings mix past and contemporary visuals that send unique feminist messages, with a focus on reproductive rights.“Every year, it’s a different experience," she says, "and every year, I’m really inspired by what the students are doing.”

One of those students, Hanna Brody, often created her own fictional art gallery shows as a child in her living room in Santa Fe, N.M. She emerged from those childhood dreams, she says, with a focus on portraiture. Now, six of her imaginative, Plexiglass pieces are hanging at Lewis & Clark.

“They’re a combination of subconscious faces I’ve seen and references of people that I know,” she says. “Each shows a slight difference between each face, and yet they still can be considered the same person.”

Brody used neither a model nor a photo as a reference for the images. As a result, her oil portraits highlight different pure expressions from both sides of the Plexiglass. And hidden in each portrait, she says, is a unique part of herself.

Another artist, Lawrence Kirk, says he didn't have a clue what his exhibit would resemble when he first began. It was a process of immersing himself in the space — seven or eight hours a day for nine consecutive days — and simply exploring “an impulse.”

“I got these urges that can’t be verbalized,” Kirk says. “I had to pursue them without completely knowing where they were going to end up. It required a lot of faith for me.”

During what he describes as a “very emotional” time in his life, Kirk created a “Maza Liam” of a past life, a meditational place that brought his soul “back down to Earth” and a space that he hopes can be universally personal.

For her piece, Emma McKhann finally released a message that she’s held onto since she was a middle school student, when she felt a “social awkwardness” in talking about women’s rights. It was a time when she saw gender inequalities, she says, but didn’t know how to properly address them. The Walla Walla, Wash., native felt shut down and quieted.

Years later, those thoughts and feelings hang proudly inside the gallery. Her three drawings mix past and contemporary visuals that send unique feminist messages, with a focus on reproductive rights. She explores cultural male backlash, historically repressive views and racial femininity through two iconic stars.

“Seeing the connections and history repeat itself, never really getting significantly better but changing and shifting,” McKhann says, “I really wanted to connect things that happened in the past with contemporary issues.”

Some of the pieces on display in the gallery are available for sale. For more information, go to lclark.edu/hoffman_gallery/exhibitions or call 503-768-7687.

Contact Andrew Bantly at 503-636-1281 ext. 117 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ON DISPLAY

Nineteen graduating seniors are desplaying their work through May 8 at Lewis & Clark College. They are:

• Jack Badler

• Hanna Brody

• Priscilla Chan

• Julia Covell

• Pearl Hesselden

• Cooper Jamieson

• Lawrence Kirk

• Julian Lopez

• Emma McKhann

• Ellie Olitsky

• Camilla Radoyce

• Jack Sanders

• Sarah Schaff

• August Stanley

• Reese Takkunen

• Elizabeth Valadez

• Isabel Valentine

• Mayumi Warren

• Lupin Won