Finding Inspiration ‘Between Worlds’

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SPU professor Zack Bent introduces the four 2019 graduating seniors, left to right: Sarah Lewis, Olivia Coppock, Devin Atsatt, and Geneva Lehnert. Thurston Johnson | The Falcon

Chloe Guillot

Senior photography students showcase work in gallery

Standing in front of a series of photos encased in thrifted antique frames, surrounded by a crowd of peers, mentors and strangers, Geneva Lehnert felt an emotion that she didn’t often feel: pride.

After spending four years in the Seattle Pacific Art Center, attending numerous art classes and walking through a plethora of exhibits, Lehnert finally received her chance to have her photographs mounted on the walls as part of the senior photography showcase.

For Lehnert, the experience was surreal.

“It’s funny to imagine something for so long, and then be caught off guard by how it actually looks,” Lehnert said.

“This is exactly what I hoped for, but I can’t even believe it.”

On April 18, the exhibit, entitled ”Between Worlds,” was honored with an opening reception. Highlighting the work of four senior art students, the exhibit showcased the hard work, passion and transformation of the graduating students.

Lehnert’s series of women and nature is representative of her transformation as a person.

Throughout her time in college, Lehnert felt that it was important to use her work to subvert gender stereotypes and peel back the veil women live under. Now, in her senior showcase, Lehnert sees the value in approaching her humanity as well as her femininity.

“I see myself in that season as thinking of myself as a woman and then a person, and I now lean more towards trying to understand myself as a human and then a woman,” Lehnert said.

“So this exhibition feels really good because I feel like it really exemplifies that transition to, ‘Who I am I as a human, and what does it mean to live as a woman?’”

With a wide range of photos, the audience is taken through a world of different transformations perspectives. Each photo showcases the personal experiences and unique revelations of the photographers.

For some, the hardest part of the show was finding what inspired them most.

“It’s definitely a process figuring out what I care about enough to put out in the world,” said Sarah Lewis.

Lewis found that she cared about the small things. Displaying photos of crows and rats in urban settings, Lewis hopes to show how certain animals are able thrive in human environments.

“I think it’s a part of nature that we don’t like to think about very proactively, and we like to ignore,” Lewis said.

“I think the unsavory little corners are intriguing.”

Standing near Lewis, in the midst of a busy night, Olivia Coppock was grateful to have a moment to take a breath as she was finally able to appreciate the work she had done.

Inspired by her love for the theater, Coppock created a series of images of women dressed as classic Shakespearean characters, hoping to highlight their importance in every story.

For Coppock, the exhibit gave her a chance for reflection.

“I feel like after the four years, just looking at how much I’ve progressed and how much my style has changed over time, I’m really proud,” Coppock said.

Devin Atsatt has a passion for the smaller details of a photo, and was grateful to show his photography on a larger scale than a simple Instagram post.

Displaying a variety of beautiful landscapes from around the world, Atsatt hopes that his photos can transport people to new places.

“My goal with my photos is to be able to capture a piece of that and share it with people who aren’t able to get out there on their own,” Atsatt said.

For all the student photographers, the opportunity to showcase their work and their passion in the gallery where they have spent countless hours learning and refining their skills was a special moment.

With emotions ranging from nerves to pride, the photographers bore it all as they showcased their work, a collection of their unique experiences and passions, to the wider community.

“It’s really sweet to have work up in the space that I’ve spent so many hours and years in,” Lehnert said.

“It feels like such a sweet culmination of my time here.”