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“Those Who Can Do Teach”

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Steffenee Voigt (‘18) locates the focal point of Robin Schone Hengesteg’s (‘16) “Clarks Fork Canyon” on display in  Preus Library.

Steffenee Voigt (‘18) locates the focal point of Robin Schone Hengesteg’s (‘16) “Clarks Fork Canyon” on display in Preus Library.

Lily Kime (‘19) | Chips

Lily Kime (‘19) | Chips

Steffenee Voigt (‘18) locates the focal point of Robin Schone Hengesteg’s (‘16) “Clarks Fork Canyon” on display in Preus Library.

Cara Keith, Staff Writer

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“Those Who Can Do Teach” is an exhibit currently displayed in Preus Library that features mixed-media works created by recent Luther alum art educators Micayla Irmiter (‘14), Jenna Darsee (‘15), Jenny Bonnell (‘15), Katie Mathis (‘15), Lars Johnson (‘16), Robin Schone Hengesteg (‘16), and Maxwell Green (‘17). Their purpose with the exhibit is to demonstrate that art educators can maintain an active studio practice outside of teaching.

“This is a very specific show,” Gallery Coordinator David Kamm said. “This show features young alumni art educators who are out teaching art now. We wanted to feature some of them who are maintaining their studio practice, still making their own art and balancing that with teaching professionally. That’s why the show is titled ‘Those Who Can Do Teach.’ They’re able to do both.”

Lily Kime (‘19) | Chips
Maxwell Green’s (‘17) woodcut “The Mystery of Claudia Peppersnatch.”

The show features multiple mediums including photography, sketches, and collages. The pieces highlight the wide range of ways that the artists create personal art outside of their jobs as art educators.

Bonnell’s pieces feature small sketchbook drawings of different places she has visited in a project called “100 Days of Places I’ve Been.” She dedicates at least 30 minutes a day to her sketchbook practice. Hengsteng’s nature photography features the sky, mountains, and other natural sights. Darsee’s work features collages with images of children and powerful captions such as “Big Girl. Didn’t Cry” and “I wanted to hear his voice, I wanted to kill him.”

Ryan Koning (‘19) explains how the exhibit influenced her as a future art educator.

“This exhibition is really powerful because people think that if you’re going to be an art teacher, that means that you don’t work on your own practice anymore,” Koning said. “But having a gallery show that’s just about working teachers and the work that they’re making now shows that that’s not true. So it kind of gives me that acknowledgment that if I become a teacher that doesn’t mean that I have to stop making art.”

Lily Kime (‘19) | Chips
Micayla Irmiter’s (‘14) acrylic painting “Jesus and Lenny.”

Adjunct Faculty in Art Lea Lovelace (‘97) teaches many art education courses at Luther and has worked with the alums that are featured in this exhibit. Lovelace thinks this exhibit will make the Luther community and those who view it change their perspective on artists.

“It will raise awareness,” Lovelace said. “I think that the larger campus community probably thinks that artists will either do studio art or they will teach art. This will debunk that myth by showing that these students are teachers as well as practicing artists.”

Lily Kime (‘19) | Chips
Jenna Darsee’s (‘15) collage “Big Girl. Didn’t Cry.”

Kamm also believes that this exhibit will demonstrate the benefits of a Luther education to students.

“For one thing, students will realize that there’s life after Luther,” Kamm said. “These students have been training for a specific profession and they actually got work there and there were jobs for them. And from what I can tell, they have been very satisfied both by the preparation they had for that work and by the fact that they’re doing something that they really love.”

The exhibit is on display until May 27.

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