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the Covenant experience narrative

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Senior Capstone Projects: Hear from Three Art Majors

daniel holdridge with his art capstone project

Each year in late spring, all senior art majors present their capstone projects and exhibit them for all to see. This year there were 21 art majors who proudly displayed the result of their God-given creativity and hard work. The projects were diverse, whimsical, and stunning, telling intricate stories of these artists’ passions. We interviewed three of these seniors to discuss their projects in depth and find out what they are hoping to do after Covenant.

Daniel Holdridge ’24

Daniel Holdridge is an art history major from Rochester, NY, who has had a love for art for as long as he can remember—all the way back to when he would print comic book pages out and color them in. Looking back at his time in the Covenant art department, he is most thankful for professors like Jeffrey Morton and Elissa Wheichbrodt who have pushed and enabled him to pursue ambitious ideas in his art. After Covenant, he plans to attend graduate school and eventually teach art history. Currently, Daniel is in the midst of his senior art project called, “Map No. 1 (for Don G.),” a large watercolor and ink piece designed to lay out on the floor. He’s using heavy cold pressed Arches Watercolor Paper, matte acrylic blue, and a Pentel Pocket Brush to create a project that will end up taking up to a total of one hundred hours.

His capstone project presentation, which took place on April 17, emphasized the purpose and meaning of his piece. The project took place on the floor where guests were invited to take off their shoes and sit down to color parts of it in. In doing this, Daniel wanted to show his piece as more than an object but as an experience and a place that can help others go back to their own childhoods and exercise playfulness even through adult ideas. He summarizes his project with two keywords, “place” and “play,” hoping that the piece, showing a large blue watercolor neuron or crape myrtle-like organism with cartoon-like drawings of machines in between its branches, will remind people of where they are and the importance of community and connection. For him, the project reminds him of how he first came to love art, which is why the piece intentionally resembles an extensive coloring page.

lauren hersman with her art capstone project

Lauren Hersman ’24

Lauren is a 3-D art major who grew up and lived the majority of her life in Kenya. During her time in the Covenant art department, her favorite class was her Fiber and Materials class. This class reflected her interests over the years, which has been a focus on fabrics. After Covenant, Lauren plans on moving to South Korea to teach ESL. Lauren has always enjoyed working with fabric and textiles throughout her time at Covenant in the art department, so her choice of senior project was not an extremely difficult decision.

Her project “Windows to the Sea” consists of three embroidered squares representing three levels of the ocean. Each square is densely packed with layers and details including embroidery, beading, and sequins. Throughout her art career, Lauren has often felt drawn to marine life and has completed several other projects with a similar theme. Though on a smaller physical scale, the project was extremely dense and detail-oriented, taking over one hundred hours to complete. Throughout the project, though she has worked often with fabrics consistently in her four years, Lauren found herself learning most about both the art of embroidery and the attention to detail that goes into it. She highlights that through this art form, she learned more about her own art process and her passion for attention to fine details.

Joshua Williams ’24

Joshua Williams is an art history major with a 2D concentration from St. Louis, MO, who recently completed his senior art project, a collection of 12 paintings depicting genealogies from the period of the Bible. Joshua has always been interested in drawing, but throughout middle school and high school, he began to develop his art as a better way to learn. Now in college, he is using his talent to work through some difficult sections of the scriptures that he doesn’t find talked about enough. Throughout his time at Covenant, Joshua emphasizes how much he has appreciated the fun, loving, and supportive community that has characterized his time in the art department.

The 12 paintings that make up his senior capstone, titled “Genealogies,” are a combination of paintings using acrylic paint and graphite pencil on both stretched canvas and arches paper. Joshua started early on his project, but he estimates that each painting took around 30 hours, including the research, planning, sketching, stenciling, and painting. His paintings are designed to be flexible in display, able to adapt to the space in which they are being displayed. After college, Joshua plans on going into resident programs for a couple of years so that he can work towards even bigger opportunities. Apart from the pieces centered on scripture and other time-period relevant genealogies, Joshua also completed a piece on the genealogy of his own family to better understand how he fits into this kind of history.

Photo credit: Hogan Hickman ’24 and Dani Rappuhn ’24

josh williams with his art capstone project

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