Side Projects / by Stefaan Conrad

Student show has been looming on my horizon for a little over a month now. Well, today is the day that all the pieces are due! I thought I’d give a little preview here on the blog as to the pieces I’m entering and a little background about the show for those of you that might not know what it is.

Here on campus, we have a small art gallery which hosts various shows throughout the year, most notably the faculty show, student show, and senior thesis show. In a few weeks time, the student show will be opening. This is an opportunity for students of all disciplines and all class levels to share some of their works with the local community. Lots of class projects get entered but there a few pieces which are side projects and those are sometimes the most fun to see. Side projects are a good representation of that artist because those are fully self-elected and self-driven.

I have 5 entries for the show this year. Three photography pieces, one woodworking project, and one embroidery piece. I’m not going to share all my photography pieces here but I’ll give a little preview of a few of the pieces.

This firs series of images is of my woodworking project. I’ve been working on an end grain cutting board for months and I got it wrapped up just in time for this show. Walnut surrounding an alternating pattern of maple and mahogany make up this checkered piece. It’s been a sheer pleasure to work with this medium and I honestly loved this process so much! I learned a TON and would love to keep making pieces like this. It’s pictured with a Japanese cleaver which I restored from a two-dollar thrift shop find a while back.

This image series is my only class project of the show. It’s conceptual series examining the struggles which we as individual internalize. I was hoping to capture the emotion and expression with which we would look at that struggle if we’d project it onto something outside of our minds. I’ve provided a more in-depth artist statement for the gallery so please come out and read it and really look closely at these portraits. It takes a careful examination of these shots to see what visual techniques I was looking for in this project.


This final preview is another completely non-photographic side project. I was inspired by Emily’s studio cross stitch project so I bought a hoop and some fabric and tried my hand at embroidery. This is a small Japanese cherry blossom branch which I stitched over spring break. In working on several of these stitching project in the past months, I’ve found the process to be very relaxing and soothing to work slowly with my hands.

For those of you in the area on April 18, please come out and support all the campus artists and visit the Rasmussen Art Gallery on opening night! There are some incredibly talented individuals submitting their work and it needs to be seen!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this peek at what I’ve been up to when I’m building Recalibrate.