A designer's touch
By: Daniel Palmer

CV Image

photographic transfers on steel, 19 x 27 inches

photographic transfers on steel, 27 x 19 inches

(left)"back lit."
photographic transfers on steel, 17 x 11 inches

To the detail-focused hands of a designer, our culture’s overload of all things digital can be overwhelming, if not disheartening. Everything from film to music to photography to simply putting ink on a sheet of paper is now safely saddled in the hands of the digital generation and their tools.

Recent graduate Sarah Swartzendruber’s work, then, is a welcome departure. Utilizing found materials, original photography and various researched transfer techniques, Swartzendruber presented several large-scale transfers at one of this spring’s senior art shows in the Hershberger Gallery.

A multidisciplinary artist (including painting, sewing, design, sculpture and photography), Swartzendruber was interested in combining several interests she had developed during her art education for her last GC show. “I knew that I wanted to do something with photography for the senior show. Having taken sculpture and jewelry here as well, I wanted to find a way to incorporate those mediums,” said Swartzendruber. “I had done smaller transfer work for jewelry, but for my senior show, I wanted to find larger scale-pieces of found metal and work with them.”

The process was involved: “Most of my photography before this was more abstract; the content I wanted for this was human form, specifically women, and beyond that, women who are significant in my life.” This included friends, her mom and her sister, photographed in ad hoc studios in basements with white walls and hung work lights. Next was a trip to a scrapyard with local sculptor John Mishler for the metal pieces.

After much cleaning, “gluing” the ink with acrylic medium, and much scrubbing away of remnant paper fiber, Swartzendruber’s work was present alongside a collection of her peers, and again during a special end of the year show for GC’s 2007 commencement. Swartzendruber moved back home to Denver, Colo. after graduation to pursue a career in graphic design.

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