Selections from Writing Art Criticism: Senior Show 2019

As participants in Colby’s studio program developed their work for the Senior Art Exhibition this spring, students in my Writing Art Criticism class researched and wrote interpretive essays for the accompanying catalog. In this series of Lantern posts my students explore alternative ways of responding to and telling stories about their peers’ work in the digital realm. Taking advantage of the flexibility of The Lantern’s format, they experiment with video, sound, the art comic, and the photo essay, among other modes. As they do so, they show us some of the rich possibilities offered by digital publications at a time when the art world increasingly conducts its conversations online.

— Daniel Harkett, Associate Professor, Art Department

Sarah Rossien on Los

This soundscape is a combination of sounds heard in New York City and in the sculpture studio at Colby College. The blending of sounds from these contrasting locations creates a backdrop for Los’s work (on view in the Davis Gallery now). Please listen to this soundscape as you view Los’s Uptown and consider the ways that the noises you hear influenced the work itself.


Hannah Springhorn on Heidi Minghao He

All photos by Hannah Springhorn

It is hard to believe the meditative work Drowning, an alluring square foot of quiet, came from the chaotic attic painting studio on the second floor of Bixler. Yet Heidi’s corner is an island in a sea of saturated paint. White canvases and pieces of folded paper cover the walls and litter the floor while semiopaque wax drips off every surface.

Heidi affectionately refers to this area as her kitchen, a place where she heats up wax and then experiments with different combinations of material until something becomes palatable. She feels comfortable in this space as it is one that she has created and arranged in her own way.

A pot filled with white, chalky wax sits hardened in the corner, preserving a moment of creation. In the corner is a very large “TURN OFF” sign, a not-so-subtle reminder that the massive amount of electricity required to heat the hot plate is most definitely a fire hazard.

But not to worry, there is a small water bottle, only two-thirds of the way full (the water having partially evaporated over the semester), that sits on the table right behind her kitchen station. Just in case.

The whole space is a fascinating blend of artistic materials and forgotten treasures. A dining-hall bowl serves as a prop for a neon-green spatula, and an old jar of peanut butter (still half full!) is tucked away under piles of rice paper.

Heidi lights up when she is in the studio. She touches everything, lifting objects up to feel their texture and then gently placing them back down in their allocated spots (although they seem to change frequently).  She is at home with her carefully curated collection of oddities, a collection she uses to explore the messier sides of life.

Tim Hood on Jake Abbe-Schneider

Watch Jake Abbe-Schneider’s paintings evolve from initial sketch to finished work in these videos.