MSU Undergraduate Intuitive Artwork

Minnesota State University, Mankato wraps up the gallery’s year strong with an exhibition of creative works that showcases the work of said undergraduate students by giving them a chance to express themselves through raw materials and intuitive design .

Senior Harry Ritchie is one of the artists whose work is featured in the gallery. Ritchie’s love for art began in high school when he drew and sketched in notebooks with colored pencils and has since grown as an artist.

“In the fall of 2018, I started doing more art after taking a semester off and started posting more on Instagram,” Ritchie said. “I started to identify more as an artist since then and evolved into different art forms.”

While he no longer uses colored pencils, Ritchie uses oil paint and acrylic ink. Ritchie’s piece in the exhibit is called “Coalescent”, a large red painting with blue undertones that Ritchie intuitively created.

“I started with a few blue brush strokes and then decided to cover it with red which is interesting because you can see the blue [undertones] and it gives it a weird vibe,” Ritchie said. “[When I create art,] there’s a lot going on that I don’t particularly like and I keep going until I get to a place where I like it. I think this contrast works well and it feels finished.

After graduating this spring, Ritchie plans to attend graduate school to earn an MFA in hopes of teaching at the college level after the impact of his art teachers here at MSU.

“[My] the goal is to keep making, creating and exploring new things. I gained a lot of respect for my college teachers,” Ritchie said. “I would consider some of my teachers friends and I really appreciate that relationship.”

Another artist who has art in the exhibit is Junior Wynter Prudhomme. Prudhomme has been creating art since kindergarten where she found her love through arts and crafts.

“I wouldn’t want to be done with [my projects,]shared Prudhomme. “I used to get in trouble because I kept creating stuff or throwing tantrums if I couldn’t keep making art. I’ve always had a fondness for that. »

Prudhomme is inspired for her art by the artist Kristen Liu-Wong who focuses on femininity, sexuality and sensuality in her art. Prudhomme’s piece, titled “The Beauty of Fat” is a huge flower portrait with a tall body in the middle. Prudhomme creates art that focuses on underrepresented bodies and people.

“I thought it would be cool to put on a bold plus-size silhouette on a very large scale that you kind of have to look at because the flowers are so beautiful and they draw you in,” Prudhomme said. “I wanted to show some representation because representation leads to acceptance in society.”

Although Prudhomme did not graduate this year, art has always had an impact on her life. Prudhomme talked about how she couldn’t live without art and how therapeutic it was for her.

“I can’t imagine ever being able to pick up a brush again because it fills me with a sense of peace. It’s something where I can get into the zone, shut down my brain and be at peace,” Prudhomme said. “It’s such a meditative and therapeutic thing for me.”

Ritchie’s advice to future art majors is to talk with other art majors and spread their work as much as they can.

“When many students start, [art students] have group critiques where we talk about other people’s work and at first everyone is usually shy and they don’t like to talk for fear of hurting someone’s feelings if they say something about the art of someone, but communication is important,” Ritchie shared. “Art doesn’t have to be pretty or realistic. It can be whatever you want.

Prudhomme’s advice to those hesitant to exhibit their art is that while it may be scary at first, the rewards are great.

“The mantra I’ve used in life is ‘you never know unless you do it.’ The amount of pain you might feel doing something and failing is nothing compared to the regret you might feel for not even trying to show off,” Prudhomme shared.

Ritchie’s and Prudhomme’s pieces will be on display in the CSU gallery until the end of the semester.

Header Photo: MSU undergraduate artwork is currently on display in the CSU Art Gallery. The exhibition focuses on intuition and raw materials. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

Write to: Emma Johnson at [email protected]

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