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Preview: Seniors display senior inquiry artwork in exhibit

Erin William’s Senior Inquiry project was creating rune cards, similar to tarot cards.  Photo courtesy of Erin Williams.

Erin Williams’ senior inquiry project was creating rune cards, similar to tarot cards.
Photo courtesy of Erin Williams.

Senior graphic design and marketing major Erin Williams has finally completed her senior inquiry project, which took the form of a deck of 24 rune cards.

Similar to tarot cards, rune cards come from Norse mythology and are a way to gather insight in any part of a person’s life.

“I have a pretty intensive interest in all things Norse mythology,” said Williams. “Each rune has a different symbol attached to different things, so it’s a lot easier to have found a visual tool that I was looking for.”

Williams constructed these cards using a method called paper sculpture, which involves laying small pieces of paper on top of each other to great a three-dimensional structure that isn’t more than an inch thick.

Her work, along with the works of the 11 other senior inquiry students, will be displayed at Augustana’s Art Museum in Centennial Hall starting April 29.

The 12 studio art and graphic design majors have been working on their projects since spring term last year when they had to begin to propose ideas.

“To be honest, I just really didn’t want to pay all the extra money to do an internship, but I like the idea of being able to do a free-form project about anything you wanted to do,” said Williams.

Art Professor Peter Xiao said each student was given a $250 scholarship per term over this past academic year provided by financial aid, which is an increase from last year when students were given $200 per term.

“That’s really unheard of in my undergraduate program and in my colleague’s undergraduate program,” said Xiao.

Reji Kaur is another participant who is doing a room with three 10-by-10 foot tall walls with a cloth ceiling to create a cube open on one end displaying the ways different ethnic groups and cultures celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights.

The sidewalls will display handmade garland used in the six majors religions in India, each with their own form of celebration.

The back wall will have a three-dimensional collage and two watercolor portraits of women meant to highlight the different clothing styles in India.

“I’m trying to create a…portal to transfer yourself to India and not the stereotypical India that you would see on TV or in movies or read about in books,” said Kaur, who grew up in the Northern Indian state of Haryana. “I don’t want to recreate stereotypical India. I want to create something that I grew up with, and I know the area that I grew up in is never, ever in the media.”

Xiao said that Kaur’s project does not just encompass her own heritage.

“It’s quite ingenious, because she didn’t learn any of this from teaching at Augustana,” said Xiao. “She had to come up with the skills on her own. In both of these cases (Williams and Kaur) are discovering themselves and the culture they came out of or are going into, because the senior inquiry is all about discovery.”

The deadline submission is April 22.

The artists will be discussing their works during this term’s Symposium Day on May 6 at 10:30 a.m.

Their work will be on display until May 25. The show will be closed for finals during May 19-22.

The museum is open from 12-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

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