Senior art major Christa Cape is one of four students who received the 2016 Yeck College Artist Fellowship from the Dayton Art Institute.
As part of this fellowship, Cape, along with three other college students, has spent the last nine weeks teaching and mentoring 14 high school art students.
“It has been really cool to watch the high school students’ progression for the last nine weeks,” Cape said. “It was fun getting the opportunity to teach, because that isn’t really something that we get to do often. It was also nice to work as a team with the other artists, because it took the pressure off of having to perform.”
During her days of teaching, Cape said she wrote lesson plans and worked one-onone with students to aid them in the problem solving process and in creating their art.
In addition to teaching, Cape was given a grant of $1,000 to produce artwork that will be featured at the Dayton Art Institute. Her theme, “Seasons,” specifically highlights the various seasons of life. Cape has created paintings revolving around the natural world and nature as a metaphor for the seasons of life.
Cape said she drew her inspiration from her childhood in the woods of New Hampshire. She said she has always been drawn to nature and finds most of her inspiration in the constant change of life. Through her art, she said she explores the times of life, exposes themes of hope and encourages her audiences to savor the world around them.
When creating a new piece of art, Cape said she always thinks about art as communication.
“What do I have that is different that I want to share with people?” she said.
In her art, she tries to connect the seasons in nature and the seasons of life with theology, Cape said.
Cape will complete four pieces for the Dayton Art Institute as a Yeck College Artist Fellow. She said she had to plan out every piece before she started creating it, which was a new process for her.
“My normal approach is OK,” she said. “I’m making this art, and I don’t really know where it’s going to go, but I’m making this art. Whereas this time, it is for a specific setting, so I am talking to my mentor and thinking things through logistically and narrowing down all the details before even making the pieces.”
Finding a purpose
One main difference between Cape and the other fellowship recipients is Cape’s Christian background.
Annie Lee-Zimerle, assistant professor of art and design at Cedarville, said Cape’s faith can be seen in all the work she creates.
“Christa is a highly respected student in our studio art program,” Lee-Zimerle said. “She incorporates her faith and love for Christ in her art. I can’t wait to see the completion of this project.”
Cape said her favorite part of the fellowship has been getting to know the other artists, as the fellowship has been her first big interaction with secular artists.
“They’ve all come from different artistic backgrounds, and I am so used to Cedarville’s atmosphere,” she said. “Hearing about their work and challenges has been really interesting.”
As she has studied at Cedarville, Cape said she strives to integrate her faith into everything she creates. She said this has given her a unique perspective when it comes to creating art for the fellowship.
“Hopefully, (the other fellowship recipients) can see my faith through my artwork and be influenced by that,” Cape said. “One thing I’ve noticed is that while their art has artistic and conceptual depth, it lacks theological meaning. It is difficult for them to find a reason for creating and finding that purpose that I feel as a Christian artist.”
Cape’s art will be displayed at the Dayton Art Institute from May through September.
Hannah Dunlap is freshman journalism major and arts & entertainment writer for Cedars. She has an affinity for photography, exploring and Netflix marathons.