Visual and Media Arts students to showcase capstone work during multiple exhibitions

November 20, 2018

Visual and Media Arts students to showcase capstone work during multiple exhibitions


  • A sample of work from Valerie Wojo's senior photography series that highlights the residents of Flint impacted by the city's water crisis.
    Photo Credit: Valerie Wojo


Posted on November 20, 2018

More than 20 students from the Visual and Media Arts Department will showcase works that represent the culmination of their educational experiences at Grand Valley.

Valerie Wojo, a senior majoring in photography, said the senior photography exhibition, “Resonate," places a strong emphasis on community.

“As an all-female team, we have found empowerment in our common goal of representing a community that resonates within us,” said Wojo. “While that community varies from one series to another, we each have a personal connection to our subject matter.”

For the exhibit, Wojo chose to represent the Flint community, specifically those who have been impacted by the Flint water crisis because she grew up in a town adjacent to Flint.

“While photographing my thesis series this semester, I have met so many new people who shared their personal stories of suffering with me, and it was both eye-opening and extremely frustrating to learn that these people have been neglected for so long,” said Wojo. “However, each individual inspired me to channel that frustration into my work and strive for change, so being able to use my gift to do that has been rewarding.”

Jacob Mol, a senior majoring in graphic design, will be showcasing his designs for an emergency survival kit e-commerce product line in the senior graphic design exhibit, “Command + N.” Mol designed the branding, packaging, print and digital components for the product line.

He said his work for this exhibit reflects the skills he has acquired at Grand Valley.

“Not only did I learn to be a designer, but I learned to be an artist, a critical thinker, a problem solver and self-motivator,” said Mol. “To be able to think beyond just the design to how it might be perceived, interacted with and what impact it might make on others has been a valuable experience.”

Mol said the name of the exhibit is representative of the keyboard shortcut graphic designers can use on Apple computers to create a new project.

“In a way, this represents us in this show,” said Mol. “Everything we are doing is new work, it's a new exhibit and we are becoming new designers in the design community.”

Below is a full list of upcoming senior thesis exhibitions:

Command + N 
Senior graphic design exhibition
Exhibition dates: November 26-30
Reception: November 29, from 5-8 p.m.
Padnos Student Visual and Media Arts Gallery, Calder Arts Center, Allendale Campus
Students: Jessica Allen, Christina Elsholz, Stephanie Freeman, Kristine Hynes, Jacob Mol, Shelby Verstrate

Senior photography exhibition
Exhibition dates: November 27-December 8
Reception: November 29, from 5-7 p.m.
GVSU Art Gallery, Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts
Students: Ashley Cefali, Ana Grace Dykstra, Markeyna Jay, Kendalyn Liebzeit, Jodi VanWagnen, Valerie Wojo

Tactile Existence 
Senior metals, printmaking and painting exhibition
Exhibition dates: December 3-7
Reception: December 6, from 5-7 p.m.
Padnos Student Visual and Media Arts Gallery, Calder Arts Center, Allendale Campus
Students: Morgan Lloyd (metals), Katelyn Venema (metals), Caitlyn Brandt (painting), Jane Dandron (printmaking)

Explorations of the Body 
Senior visual studies exhibition
Exhibition dates: December 3-7
Reception: December 7, from 6-9 p.m.
Spiral Gallery, 44 Division Ave. South, Grand Rapids
Students: Ashley Acton, Emily McKenna

Echo Unspoken 
Senior illustration exhibition
Exhibition dates: December 7-January 7
Reception: December 8, from 7-10 p.m.
The Nomad Galleries, 74 Monroe Center Northwest, Grand Rapids
Students: Chloe Burns, Amelia Cleveland, Erin Davis, Kenzie Fox, Dana Witherspoon

For more information, contact the Visual and Media Arts Department at (616) 331-3486 or visit

For More Information Contact: Matthew Makowski in University Communications - (616) 331-2228

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Page last modified November 20, 2018