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Q&A with Glossolalia artists Laura Shultz, Andrew Paulson and Harrison Shih

James Bien, Reporter

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Starting May 10, the senior class of art theory and practice majors will present its works at the exhibition Glossolalia. For many, this will be the “ending” of art education, while for others it’s the beginning of a more comprehensive study of the subject. Weinberg seniors Laura Shultz, Andrew Paulson and Harrison Shih talk with The Current about their preparation for the exhibition and what they hope to achieve through it.

The Current: How long did it take for you to prepare everything for the exhibition and what was that process like?

Laura Shultz: We’ve been working throughout our classes in developing our practice and developing what we want to do. Outside of classes, as a group we’ve had to come together and work with the director, Kelly Kaczynski. We went through the professional process of putting together a show: signing contracts, going through the labels, etc. It’s been a really great process. It really shows the professional business side of the art world. It’s definitely been a multi-quarter process.

Andrew Paulson: This year there’s been a big emphasis on personal practice, so we talk a lot about installations, contracts, insurance, all sorts of things. I actually did 90 percent of the art major in the last year, so I haven’t been working on my projects like the others have for years.

The Current: How did you come up with the title Glossolalia?

LS: Glossolalia is a non-jury, non-traded show. There’s no overarching theme. The goal was to find a title that could encompass everybody’s works, and all of our works are so different. We had a title brainstorming session, and Glossolalia came out the winner because it represents new ways to communicate.

The Current: How have you tried to integrate new ways of communication in your works?

LS: For me, my work is looking at the voice and how to communicate. I’ve also tied in my interest in the biology and its place in society.

AP: I’m really interested in minimalist work, but I also think philosophical underpinnings are kind of bunk. I’m working with geometric form and as a math major, there’s perfection in geometry, but in terms of craft, we still need to talk about art.

Harrison Shih: Mine is more about the process. My art is about continuously evolving, and there’s no conclusion because the process never ends. I revisit the same subject matter in different classes, but every time, I learn something new. In terms of content, I dealt with memory a lot.

The Current: What does Glossolalia, or your works in this exhibition, mean to you?

LS: My works mean a lot to me. It’s definitely the work that’s pushed me the hardest in the past four years. It’s really rewarding and scary to be able to set up and see what the public does with it.

AP: I think for a lot of people this is the ending if they’re not looking for professional art in their lives. But I found something fulfilling in art that I can’t find in other fields of study. I view this as a beginning of a professional study of art.

HS: To me, it’s not so much an ending, but it’s a first milestone. It’s been good to learn about the practical aspects of putting on a show. It’s very reflective for me.

The Current: What do you think the exhibition will mean to Northwestern students?

LS: I hope that the exhibition broadens their horizons a little bit. I hope it makes them think and shows them what kind of students we are and what happens on that third floor of Kresge. It’ll just be really nice to open up what we’ve been doing and show the community.

AP: So many people don’t know that we have an art department here. The faculty have international footprints, and the graduate program continues to rise in prestige.

HS: A lot of people don’t necessarily get modern art or aren’t open to learn about it. Come to the opening, and we’re more than happy to explain what it’s all about.

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