Senior artist questions humanity

Marcia Erickson will display a variety of her art skills at her senior art show, “Humanity.” Photograms, prints, graphic design, etchings, and photography are only part of a small sample of the artistic abilities she has learned throughout pursing her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Washburn University.  The exhibit begins Aug. 20 and runs until Aug. 31 in the Art Building.

Although this is the senior’s first collection of work as a whole, Marcia Erickson is not new to having her work displayed. Erickson once had her work displayed in the capital building of Washington, D.C. protesting the Vietnam War.

Her time within one of her photography classes at Washburn and her previous experiences as a nurse were both parts of inspiration for the pieces in her exhibit.  For a classroom assignment, Erickson studied consumerism. While researching this subject, she discovered the initiation of humanity into one of the elements of the periodic table.

“Part of it is about my concern of the reduction of humanity to a consumable product,” said Erickson.

Before pursuing art, Erickson had pursued a degree in nursing and was previously a nurse. One of her experiences delivering a still-born baby speaks for a lot of her two pieced exhibit. The upstairs is mainly photography, while the downstairs of the art building will host a variety of other work but will feature quite some emphasis on babies and fetuses.

Whether capitalism or consumerism, Erickson has her own views but allows others to view her work with their own interpretations.

“I hate to title my work because  if you title a piece than you kind of tell the viewer what to think,” said Erickson.  “The pieces have my own message and they are things I’m interested in or concerned about, but I don’t want to be jamming it down the viewers throat.”

She has plans to continue to pursue art and is currently looking into a master’s program in New Mexico. After finalizing the pieces to display, installing her own work, and perfecting her collection; like most senior artists in preparation for an exhibit, Erickson is just waiting for everything to fall into place.

“I think when you’ve done a drawing and create a print with it, the print just adds so much drama to the piece and you get that ‘wow’ factor,” said Erickson.

Anyone interested in hearing from the artist herself may go to Erickson’s Gallery Reception. The reception will be held Aug. 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Art Building and is open to the public. Erickson’s Gallery Talk will be held Aug. 29 at noon in the Art Building.