By Sophia Strauss, Staff Writer
The sculpture gallery hosted the art of Madelynne Ehmer, a senior art education major, from Monday, March 2 to Friday, March 6. Her collection was titled “Don’t be Afraid” and was based around common phobias people face around the world.
Ehmer was previously in group shows in the Student Art League Gallery, but this was her first solo show. Being able to showcase her work as an individual allowed Ehmer to take a deeper focus on her work.
“Working with someone else, you have to make sure your pieces go together, so this is just your ideas and gathering all of your stuff,” she said.
“Don’t be Afraid” is based around one specific idea, not one specific art type. The collection is made up of pieces of different mediums, some being photographs, something Ehmer did purposefully.
“I’m always doing different things with different stuff, just seeing what I can make,” she said.
The artist hoped to capture a feeling in each of her pieces that gave the viewers a feeling of discomfort while also being entranced by the work.
“The art comes with the chills, there are so many different formats that all get an emotional reaction out of you,” Miguel Castro, a friend of Ehmer’s, said.
The gallery featured many common phobias, and some that may be lesser-known which still made the faces of visitors around the room cringe in discomfort.
Ehmer felt the inspiration for this collection after creating one of the pieces displayed in the gallery.
“I came in with a smaller print of [“Bubbles”] one day, all happy, and someone said “Oh I feel like I’m drowning when I look at that.’ So I was like ‘oh, okay,’” she said.
Ehmer went on to recreate the piece on a larger scale for the gallery. “I wanted the viewer to really be able to submerge themselves and really be in the water,” Ehmer said.
While the thought of drowning drew Ehmer in, she also credited the inspiration of the collection to her love of bugs.
“I like looking at them, and seeing all the little pieces that make them up, all the colors in it, and appreciating the little things that people just see a bug and scream,” Ehmer said.
The chilling collection wasn’t something someone could catch in a quick glance. Each piece, regardless of the medium, was more than just art on the surface.
“You always keep on finding more. Whether it’s the shadow or the illusion of someone being there, and then you realize the topic is ghosts… there’s a lot in each piece,” Castro said.
To check out Ehmer’s take on phobias and to see more of her art, students can find her on instagram @_madart.