Artist Spotlight

Molly Wilson

(Susanna Valleau)

Chris Dorn is not the type of guy to go out of his way to get your attention, but he is absolutely the kind of guy to whom we should all start paying attention. Dorn, a senior who is double majoring in art history and studio art, says his interest in art began in high school, where he had a talented teacher who nourished the technical aspects of art.
These technical aspects seem to have stuck with Dorn, who tells us that “[his art] has always relied on figure drawing.”
He describes his personal style as falling into two camps: “Camp one is work centered around my inspiration, usually conceptual and minimalist-inspired, and camp two is more academic and my painting is almost impressionistic.”
Dorn has also run the Wriston Art Collective along with Elyse Lucas for the past two years. The purpose of the group has been for art and art history students to come together, create art and travel to museums, because, as Dorn puts it, “Appleton [is]… maybe not the biggest art hub.”
Recently, the group has been focusing on petitioning to get Downer Commons turned into a gallery or show room once construction begins.
In fall 2008, Dorn studied abroad in Florence. His experience abroad showed him a different way of approaching art. He took a traditional academic figure drawing class where the students spent nearly a month on a single drawing.
Dorn says this was completely different from his normal style in which his drawings are typically done in five to ten minutes. He tells us that the class “reinforced my idea that being able to quickly capture an object is a skill that needs to be built up. However, I feel that the end weight does ultimately carry more weight than the process”.
Right now, Dorn is preparing for his senior show this spring. His show is “a compilation of 3-D works and paintings that aim to question how social constructions have shaped understandings of the gallery and museums. We’re at the point where artwork in such institutions is never questioned because they are in such an institution.”
In the future Dorn hopes to see himself working in a museum or as an art history professor. Until then, watch for more information about his senior show and if you catch him around sometime with five or ten minutes to spare, maybe he’ll even make you a piece of genuine Chris Dorn artwork.

(Susanna Valleau)

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