KCAD Students Selected for 18th Annual Student Art in the Legislature Show

Posted October 6, 2023 in Graphic Design, Student Exhibitions, Fashion Studies, Studio Arts

The artwork of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) students will adorn the Michigan House and Senate office buildings as part of the 18th annual Student Art in the Legislature program.  

Through a collaboration between the Michigan Legislature and the Michigan Association of State Universities, the program displays and celebrates the work of remarkable student artists from Michigan’s 15 public universities each year. Their respective works are displayed in the Anderson House Office Building or the Binsfeld Senate Building in Lansing, MI.  

KCAD’s Division of Academic Affairs led the effort for student submissions, noting KCAD students have been chosen for this initiative almost every year since its inception. Student artwork appropriate for public display in a government building is submitted for consideration. 

This year, artwork from five students—Jenna Broderick, William Chatlosh, Salina Dally, Pamela MacDougal, and Gracie Thomas—were selected by those in the Legislature to hang in the Senate and House buildings.  

Feedback from the policymakers, staff and those who visit the Michigan House and Senate office buildings has been very positive, MASU officials said. The addition of student artwork has added to the aesthetic quality of the interior of the two buildings and provides a venue to promote the creative talents of our state university students. 

A reception hosted by members of the Legislative Arts Caucus will honor each selected student artist at the Michigan State Capitol on October 10, at which time the new pieces of art will be unveiled. When displayed, a plaque indicating the name of the piece, the artist’s name, and university affiliation will accompany each piece. All work will be displayed for one year, until October 2024. 

The selections from KCAD students include:  

Jenna Broderick (Senior, Graphic Design) 

a painting of a person with a horse and animals in a net
Title: “An Emotional Menagerie” 
Artist Statement: 
The feeling of suffocation from outside expectations and remarks was the catalyst for this piece. Constantly being bombarded by others’ opinions, both negative and positive, creates an atmosphere of expectations that can quickly become a burden. Each animal represents a personality trait such as the tiger representing strength, the horse representing confidence, the crane representing loyalty, and the rabbit representing affection. All of which have become tangled in red string which in Chinese folklore refers to the red string of fate. This string of fate was meant to connect an individual to their future lover or to their destiny. The piece evokes a sense of panic as each animal becomes tangled and trapped in the string referring to the weight one can feel due to outside pressure that forces them to create a version of themselves that is inauthentic. This inauthenticity can create two differing opinions within their head and their heart of what they should or should not do. 

a painting of a person sleeping on a red and black background
Title: “An Eternity” 
Artist Statement: 
The intangible feeling that we belong to a certain group of people, culture, religion, or mindset is something every individual desires. A sense of belonging gives us purpose and creates a web of support through a community of other individuals that share similar values and beliefs. “An Eternity” is a piece dedicated to individuals who are deprived of any true state of belonging. Trauma, poverty, and racism are a few issues amongst many others that can deny a person access to this essential need. People who feel as if they do not belong strongly to any one group often walk through life feeling alienated by society. This feeling of alienation can lead to self-isolation and overdependence on oneself. The piece itself is a memento to a time in my life where I was attempting to form my own sense of belonging in the world.   

 a painting of two people

Title: “Wǒ Ài Nı̌” 
Artist Statement: 
I love you in the morning.  
And in the afternoon,
I love you in the evening.  
And underneath the moon.  

Salina Dally (Senior, Fashion Studies)

a group of women wearing different outfitsTitle: “Let There Be Light - Collection Illustrations”  
Artist Statement:  
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). As a person and as a designer It is my goal to share the light of Jesus Christ to the world. This is a digital artwork illustration of a collection that I created. It is my design representation of the light, glory, and beauty of knowing Jesus. The Light of the World. Through a visual encapsulation of unique silhouettes, textiles and embellishments, I aim to share this light to all. 

Will Chatlosh (Senior, Fashion Studies) 

Titles: “Teal Portrait”; “Marilyn Monroe”; “Pink Portrait” 
Artist Statement: 
An exploration of crochet into three unique faces, woven from various stitches. The teal portrait captures a figure in sunglasses using an array of cool-toned yarns. The portrait of Marilyn Monroe features a varying color palette and is framed by many newspaper pages depicting Marilyn at various stages of her life. The pink portrait is a curvy side-view crocheted figure worked from warm-toned yarns. These pieces hope to capture the emotion, geometry, and uniqueness of faces and provide a new way to visualize individuality. 

a crochet portrait of a person with yarn and needlesa crochet portrait of Marilyn Monroea crochet portrait of a person with yarn and needles

Pamela MacDougal (Senior, Studio Arts) 

a painting of a room with a clock and shelves
Title: "Unfinding the Symbolic Subject (2022)" 
Artist Statement:  
This painting explores the deep connection that people who mother have to the “semiotic,” the pre-lingual highly creative part of psychic reality from which all organized thought flows. Mothers become attuned to this powerful part of the mind while bringing a child through the process of identity formation and language acquisition. Philosophers believe that artists also access this wellspring in creating their works. 

a row of champagne glasses with visible reflections
Title: "Toast of Life (2020)"
Artist Statement:  
This drawing presents the panorama of a home viewed through champagne glasses, as though the glasses are filled with “life” instead of champagne. 

Gracie Thomas (Sophomore, Studio Arts)

a group of pieces of paper with drawings on them
Title: "A Love Letter"
Artist Statement:  
Two woodcut variations of a self-portrait printed on handmade collaged paper. Imbedded in the paper are dried flowers from ex-partners and my boyfriend. These paper fragments are stitched together with embroidery floss and there are some loose ends. This piece functions as a time capsule and a display of continuity throughout interpersonal relationships. 

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