“All art is an opportunity to participate in a dialogue,” shared Tyler Brumfield, Assistant Professor of Art and Design, as he stood in the Kathrin Cawein Art Gallery, surrounded by intricate and delicately beautiful pieces. 

“The artist works to produce something, and then presents it to the viewer,” he said. “It’s really a generous act, and then we get the opportunity to critique it, and to look at it, and to absorb it.”

As a wildland firefighter for eight years, artist Kate Lund has gathered a unique perspective on the forces in nature; she channels this insight through her art. With soothing color schemes, gestural elements, and attention to sensibility, Lund has created a series of drawings that detail the changes our environment endures every day.

From Nov. 4 until Nov. 22, Lund’s collection, “Sway” will be on display in the Kathrin Cawein Art Gallery located in Scott Hall. Open Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m., students are encouraged to visit and partake in the dialogue her pieces inspire. Her work embodies a sense of chaos, while maintaining peace in the details; it feels like the silence following the storm. 

In her exhibition label, Lund describes her relationship with the natural environment: “I know the sound of wood snapping inside an unstable tree and that fire sounds like a freight train as it burns through the canopy of the forest,” she said. “I have quietly studied the intricate patterns of lichen hanging from trees as well as the slow, ominous expansion of thunderclouds.”

All of Lund’s drawings are representative of abstract art as it coincides with representation art. “This work is a nice gateway,” Brumfield said, “and creates a rich dialogue between representation and abstraction … it’s successful that way.”

The drawings all address aspects of nature which can be found within the rhythmic lines and color stories of each piece — they almost speak for themselves. Brumfield and I were entranced by the piece titled “Lightning.”

“‘Lightning’ is a small work on panel,” Brumfield explained. “But from this distance, there’s a depth in it. I feel like I’m 5,000 miles away from a storm.”

Freshman Griffin Stone commented on the detail Lund captures in her work. He described the piece titled “Internal Topography Ⅱ” “like the sun coming through the smoke.”

“They all make me feel calm,” Stone further described, as his eyes traced over Lund’s delicate line work. “It’s kind of like a serene feeling.”

Though the visuals she creates are rather stunning, it is the impact of her work that truly makes this exhibition worth exploring. 

Freshman Kami Blake admires the energy in Lund’s drawings. “I would say people who are open to interpretation of pieces would like this [exhibition],” she said.

Freshman Haley Berger felt a host of emotions when looking at the artwork. “Some of them make me sad,” said Berger. “But the other ones make me feel very powerful.” She continued to share that “the way that they’re drawn … it’s just very strong.”

Lund’s work also offers a unique perspective on nature, one that reflects her time working as a wildland firefighter. “I remain in appreciation of nature’s beauty While also communicating a sense of apprehension and anxiety,” she describes in her exhibition label. 

Senior Cal McCarthy enjoys attending art exhibitions to see different styles of art.  “I always like checking out these gallery exhibits to see different people’s styles and what they see in the world,” said McCarthy. She insists that other students take time to explore the gallery and “really take a moment to stop and appreciate the exhibit.” 

Brumfield believes the gallery has a lot to offer. “These are things that the artist has put forth for us to behold…  That leaves an imprint on either your eyes or your soul, depending on how much the work resonates with you,” he said.

Lund successfully encapsulates a myriad of emotions through the beautifully catastrophic energy of her artwork. Her drawings offer a diverse perspective on the forces of nature and are a breathtaking collection of art. 

“The works are really rich,” Brumfield concluded, soaking in the array of colors that seem to fill the gallery walls. “I’m happy that they’re here in the show.”

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