Art students’ work on display at St. Kate’s

Creativity was on display last weekend at St. Catherine’s as seniors in the studio art program displayed the fruits of their labor.

St. Thomas senior Elizabeth Dourgarian joined St. Kate’s seniors Molly Kruger and Kelly Lauren Miner to kick off the show with a reception Saturday. Each artist showcased work that had taken years to complete.

“I get to show friends and family what I’ve been working on for the past couple of years,” Miner said.

Seniors Elizabeth Dourgarian and Kelly Lauren Miner unpack a painting to be displayed at their art show. The piece is one of Dougarian's oil painting portraits. (Zach Neubauer/TommieMedia)
Seniors Elizabeth Dourgarian and Kelly Lauren Miner unpack a painting to be displayed at their art show. The piece is one of Dougarian’s oil painting portraits. (Zach Neubauer/TommieMedia)

The show will run until May 24 and is part of the senior seminar course for students enrolled in the program at St. Kate’s. Gallery director Kathleen Daniels said all studio art majors must participate in a professional juried exhibit.

“The jury is made up of the professors in the department, so they know these students, and they know what rigor they’ve gone through, where they’ve started and how they got to this point,” Daniels said.

Each student displayed different mediums and styles. Dourgarian focused primarily on oil paintings and portraits.

“I love faces. What I’m really trying to do is paint a personality. I want to put the personality into the portrait,” Dourgarian said. “My style is impressionistic, a little bit unfinished. I don’t like to refine too much. Lots of messy brush strokes is kind of what I like to do.”

In addition to her studio art major at St. Kate’s, Dougarian is majoring in creative writing with a minor in film studies at St. Thomas. Dougarian said the books she reads in her English classes often inspire her, and her literary love is the inspiration for her favorite piece in the show, a painting of a Jane Austen character.

“(The painting) was going to be for sale, but I liked him so much that I’m not going to let people buy him,” Dougarian said. “It’s based on the actor who played him in the movie, but it doesn’t match him exactly. He turned out more like what I imagine the character to look like in my head when I read the book, which made me way happier.”

For the show, Kruger focused on drawing.

“I’ve been drawing since I was little. It just kind of stuck with me,” Kruger said. “It’s just fun taking a blank piece of paper and using paint, charcoal, whatever and creating a world.”

For one of Kruger’s pieces, she was given a pen in a drawing class and told to create a perspective drawing of something on campus. The challenge: She had to use the entire pen.

“I had so much fun,” Kruger said. “I want to do it again, I just don’t have the time. It took me about a week to run the pen out.”

In another piece, she had to draw a place that had some kind of meaning for her.

“My boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship, so this was the corner of the dorm that I sat in every night to talk to him on the phone,” Kruger said. “It had quite a bit of meaning to me.”

Miner’s emphasis is on photography. Her section of the show is devoted to digital photography and photos shot on film using both a pinhole camera and a Holga camera. A Holga camera is a plastic camera that takes photos on square film “kind of like Instagram,” Miner said.

“It’s more rustic,” Miner said. “It has more of an old fashion flare where the flaws make it look a little bit better, I think. It’s not perfect, but that’s kind of the point.”

Miner’s favorite piece in the show is a photo series called “Paths, Routes and Trajectories” in which the arrangement of the photos tells just as much of the story as the photos themselves.

“Each leg is a different story, different path you could take in life. Some are slightly darker than others and some are happier,” Miner said. “It’s not one central theme – each pathway tells a different story. I worked on this one for probably a year or two. I think I’m the proudest of this one.”

Zach Neubauer can be reached at