Franklin College students reflect on careers in new art exhibit
The varied and eclectic artwork spanned the course of four academic careers.
The grace and power of a baseball player jump off the page in a realistic graphic by former Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo. A sleek white VW Bug juxtaposes the blue-gray tropical sky. Expertly crafted and loosely organic inspired ceramic bust with rich blue, green and brown.
A circle of hands, representing people of varying races, body types, gender identities and styles, come together against a hyper-colored background of concentric hearts and the words “Love More”.
Four Franklin College students – Addison Csikos, Griffin Engbrecht, Maci French and Haven Tunin – will celebrate their time at college by showcasing the work they created. The annual Seniors Exhibition features works chosen by the artists that represent their time at university, a challenge when trying to sum everything up from freshman year to graduation.
“It’s organized chaos,” Csikos said. “It was very stressful digging things up from the first year. I did it when I was 18, so a lot happened.
Their work occupies the Branigin Atrium inside the Johnson Center for Fine Arts on the college campus Monday through April 29. An opening reception will be held at 6 p.m. Monday and is open to the public.
“We’ve known it for so long, and all of a sudden it’s our turn. It’s an awesome moment,” French said. “We knew it was coming, and now it’s here. It’s surreal.
Although the artistic ambitions of the four students led them to a degree at Franklin College, their journeys thus far have all been unique.
Csikos spent his time at Franklin College studying graphic design. In addition to art, the Whiteland native is a business miner, softball team member, and honorary Chi Alpha Sigma.
His attraction to graphic design, and to art in general, comes from an omnipresent source: his love for Disney.
“I went to Disney once, and ever since then I wanted to be part of that magical feeling,” she said. “It’s always been my goal to get there. Since then, I know that’s what I want to do. »
Graphic design is the academic focus of his works, but Csikos also enjoys drawing and illustrating in his spare time. His work is hyper-realistic, allowing him to expand his creativity, while his graphic design leans more abstract or minimalist.
“I love the journey of creation,” she said. “I am a gift giver; I love giving my art as gifts and I love the joy people get from it.
Creativity is a family affair for French, originally from Lebanon. His grandfather and great-grandfather were carpenters and his mother was interested in painting.
“I always grew up in that environment,” she said. “When I got to college, I wanted to be able to do something in the art industry that I could make a career out of.”
As a graphic designer, French enjoyed being able to showcase his art in digital design spaces. She loves painting, as it was her first art, but she felt more and more drawn to design as she got older.
“I was attracted by its simplicity. You can make it as complex as you want, but when it comes to design, I tend to be more minimalist,” she said.
French is also a member of the women’s golf team and Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. After college, she hopes to pursue a career as a graphic designer in marketing. First, she got a marketing internship at RefQuest+, a sports refereeing company.
For Engbrecht, their curiosity for creativity started young.
Even as a small child, they drew and built extensively with materials such as shoeboxes and paper found around the house. They eventually became more adept at illustration.
Once he entered Franklin College, it became clear that the Anderson native was on the right path.
“I didn’t know if I could do anything else. Not in the sense that I wasn’t able to, but by doing a different career that didn’t involve an artistic pursuit,” they said.
Graphic design had the widest scope in terms of career paths, so Engbrecht focused on this branch of art. Outside of class, they tend to do illustrations of characters, settings, and scenes from the world of science fiction.
“I’m really drawn to games like ‘Dungeons and Dragons,’ and really enjoy video games of all kinds,” they said. “I love collecting vintage toys, so all of my art ends up with those elements – really colorful details that bring things to life.”
Engbrecht, who was involved with Franklin College’s Pride Alliance organization, is unsure of which direction to take his passion for art after graduation.
“I like art more craft-oriented, as well as graphic design, so I haven’t decided whether I want to go into a small business with my art, or work in marketing for a big corporation,” they said. “I’ll focus on getting my degree for now and see how things go next.”
Balancing the graphic design work of her classmates, Tunin will present her ceramic creations in the exhibition. The Franklin native is blunt when describing what drew her to art.
“I thought I was too stupid to do anything else,” she laughed.
Tunin took an advanced level art course in high school, when she began to believe in her talent and abilities as an artist. Seeing other people enjoying his pieces gave him the confidence to want to explore it further.
She started painting, but fell in love with ceramics after taking a class.
Tunin’s interest turned into a business opportunity, as she launched an online store to sell her ceramic work. She has also participated in several art exhibitions. Its mushroom mugs are particularly popular.
While at Franklin College, she received numerous awards for her artwork, including the Best in Show award at the Spring 2021 Art Show and the Rinker Art Award, given to WHAT.
The hope is to continue the momentum she has built in the art world.
“I will build a home studio and continue to sell my work online and at art shows,” she said.
If you are going to
Senior Art Exhibition
What: A showcase of the work of four Franklin College seniors: Addison Csikos, Griffin Engbrecht and Maci French, all majoring in graphic design, and Haven Tunin, a ceramics student
When: Opening at 6 p.m. on April 4; Free and open to the public
Where: Elba L. & Gene Portteus Branigin Atrium at the Johnson Center for Fine Arts, located at Branigin Blvd. and Grizzly Drive, Franklin College