The Warch Campus Center is a beautiful structure. Its pressed stone floors, clean architectural lines and vaulting windows that allow the breathtaking Appleton sunset to paint its simple, unblemished walls is not taken for granted even for the students who frequent it daily.
Despite its natural beauty, Warch proves to be an empty canvas of sorts. Spaces like these are where senior Caitee Hoglund works her magic.
An art history major, Hoglund has landed a full-time position as the university’s curator. She is responsible for setting up one art show each term.
The nook of the ground level of Warch showcases Hoglund’s first art show of the year, titled “A Backward Glance.”
In the project, Hoglund worked with Lawrence alumni from Class of 2005 all the way back to Class of 1982. She showcases two works from each artist from about a decade apart in their careers. In some cases, the artists’ works span as many as two decades.
Hoglund commented that “curating is much more than hanging a painting on the wall. It is about sending a message to your audience and telling your story.”
Hoglund has total control of how she brings her story to life, from contacting the artists, to publicity for the event, to lighting, presentation, etc. The story that she tells focuses on the passage of time.
Each wall hanging is suspended from a straight aluminum “branch,” all connected by an unbroken aluminum “trunk” running horizontally across the top of the wall, giving the effect of a timeline in showcasing the pieces.
The artists’ two paintings are presented next to each other, so one can see either the consistency of their art, their change of interests and media, or the revision of their craft in a clear manner. In this format, Hoglund is able to capture a snapshot of each of her artists’ histories.
On featuring alumni in her projects, Hoglund commented, “It is nice to see how excited alumni get about being a part of Lawrence again and how much Lawrence is still very much a part of them.”
Hoglund is already busy planning her shows for the upcoming winter and spring terms. For Winter Term, she is planning on working with current students from the printmaking club and hoping to collaborate with poets on campus.
For Spring Term, she plans on contacting another Lawrence alumnus who teaches at a local school, featuring the elementary art of her students.
Hoglund foresees herself attending graduate school eventually, but primarily she wants to get an internship as a curator, jumping right into her desired career and getting some professional experience.
With her current position as a curator, in addition to being an assistant at the Wriston Art Center, Hoglund seems to be soaking up much experience already.
Although Hoglund is fairly new to the curatorial world, she exhibits a natural talent for it in her current project, and while “A Backward Glance” provides a bit of nostalgia for alumni and students alike, it provides Hoglund with a “forward glance” toward what her future may hold.