Washburn senior scraps metal into art

Jenny Ploussard, a senior art major, co-hosted a senior art exhibit at St. Matthew’s Church Friday, April 25. She gave an exclusive walk through and an explanation the following Tuesday, April 30 for each piece of her art.

The foyer of the church was decorated with a variety of art, including paintings, photographs, sculptures and more. This gallery was comprised of what Ploussard believes to be her best and most sentimental pieces.

Posted on a wall at the center of the room was Ploussard’s “concept,” or the artist’s statement, which explained the purpose and inspiration of her art.

“I want to encourage people to look at my art and seek to find the sacred within it,” Ploussard statement reads. “I purposely create art that encourages people to interact with it. Often that interaction includes touching and asking questions about how it was made or what it means. If I can get people to seek to find answers and to delve deeper into my art, [then] I have done what I have intended to do.”

Multiple sculptures crafted by Ploussard are made purely from scrap metal. Her art includes large paintings on sheet metal to gears and cogs molded together with a light placed inside which shines out.

“The materials I prefer to use are generally recycled. Repurposing old machinery parts or scrap building materials is a way to get the most out of something that would otherwise be thrown away,” Ploussard’s statement went on to say. “I try to use materials that get people’s attention and help them see that art can be created from anything. Good and beautiful things can come from the most forgotten and unwanted scraps.”

Ploussard, graduating this May, reflected on her time at Washburn.

She was originally an art education major but switched to pursue a general bachelor of fine arts degree. She still does enjoy teaching art though. Ploussard said she enjoyed her time in college, but “it wasn’t about graduation, it was about the art.”

Ploussard’s plan following graduation is to move to Wichita to do a year of service work. She is going to work as a Saint Joseph worker with the Sisters of Saint Joseph and start an art program for women and children who have experienced domestic violence.

“I want to help people, and I feel like this is perfect,” said Ploussard. “Art, teach, helping people – it all falls into this Saint Joseph worker. I think it’s perfect for me.”

As she leaves Washburn, Ploussard has one ultimate message for aspiring artists.

“Make what you want to make,” said Ploussard. “A lot of people will tell you, ‘Oh that’s good,’ or ‘that’s crap.’ You just got to do what you want to do. Just do what you love to do.”