Best friends problem solve, showcase skills

Shelby Pendowski

When Lindsay Fisher and Brent Westrick entered the foundation classes in Grand Valley State University’s art and design program, they didn’t think the road to their senior showcase would arrive so quickly.

Fisher, a metalsmith major, and Westrick, a ceramics major, spent hours working on their pieces for the gallery, which runs until April 12.

They practiced their problem-solving skills as they tried to piece together the Padnos Art Gallery showcase of their work. But the final solution, Fisher said, was to split the gallery in half.
“I made toys,” Fisher said. “All of (my) work is interactive – they are pretty different.”

She drew inspiration for her metalsmithing pieces from studying philosophy and being curious about the world’s cultures.

“I got my inspiration from really just looking at different cultures,” Fisher said. “More or less, how we treat materials, consumption and, sort of, capitalism as a whole.”

Westrick took a more naturalistic approach to his pieces, drawing inspiration from the scenery around him at GVSU.

“My work is, I guess, ceramic vessels that are inspired by natural elements, such as leaves, and they are, I guess, tied to the landscape,” Westrick said. “I was inspired just because of the ravines and, like, I appreciate that the ravines are here and I make sure that I, like, take a break and appreciate nature every once in a while.”

Although the styles of their works differ, Westrick said their intentions are similar.

“We are both, like, criticizing the world or something,” Westrick said. “Her work is more criticizing social practice, like our society, and mine is more examining the natural world, and I guess our daily rituals like drinking liquids.”

It’s bittersweet for Fisher to look back at how fast time has gone by. But Westrick said if he could rewind time, he would give himself a couple pieces of advice.

He would tell himself “(to) start earlier, to be critical, to examine things carefully, and try to predict. Try to think of what the viewer might think and how they will experience your work.”

The pair hopes for an interested audience, but Fisher said she is hoping viewers are able to take something away from her pieces.

“Regardless of whether they understand my concept I just really want them to interact with my work,” Fisher said.

The preparation working up to the reception on April 11 from 5-7 p.m. created some stress and difficulty for the duo, but the friendship offered much relief.

“She is probably my best friend,” Westrick said. “It is really nice having someone that I connect to and someone I enjoy working with. It was a good pairing.”

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