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Lost in the Studio

emily lehman in the gallery

Emily Lehman '14 recently had an exhibit, titled "Aftertaste," in the Goodyear Gallery. Photo by Tony Moore.

Emily Lehman '14 reflects on a year of creating and mentoring as part of her post-bac residency

by Tony Moore 

Inside the Goodyear Building, the hardwood floors, worn and splattered with paint, are strewn with all the trappings of works in progress. Work spaces—cubbies and nooks and digital-art labs—can be found around every corner, and the smells of paint and wood and unidentified art supplies permeate the space, seeping from everything. The creaking floorboards of the 124-year-old former shoe factory add another layer of atmosphere, as does the silence that dominates once the building clears out.

And creaking away upstairs in the silence, late at night in a studio that would inspire widespread artistic envy, you might find Emily Lehman ’14, the 2014-15 post-bachelor artist-in-residence, at work on one of her abstract paintings.

“I’ll spend anywhere from two to eight hours in the studio, and suddenly it’ll be two in the morning and I’ve just gotten lost in it,” says the former art & art history major, noting that she plans on starting graduate school in the fall of 2016. “Having studio space and having access to a print studio and ceramics studio is a pretty big deal—it’s been incredible and something I’ll miss.”

Dickinson’s post-bac art & art history residency is a yearlong opportunity for graduating seniors to prepare for graduate school and build a portfolio in their own studio in Goodyear while receiving a stipend for supplies. The post-bac resident can also audit classes in the department and serves in a teacher-assistant-type role, mentoring seniors.

“The post-bac program is pretty exciting for us,” says Anthony Cervino, associate professor of studio art. “And Emily’s amazing work ethic and enviable studio practice really set the tone for this year’s seniors as they established their own working habits in their individual studios.”

Todd Arsenault, associate professor of art, says that the way Lehman explores the creative process, paired with the “extremely high-quality work she made during her senior year,” made her an easy choice for the post-bac position. And, he adds, “her drive for making art really sets her apart.”

In May, Lehman had a chance to show off the product of her year’s work when the Goodyear Gallery hosted her show, “Aftertaste.” It was an event that brought together an artistic community that was at the heart of Lehman’s entire post-bac experience.

“I love the community here, the friendships that I’ve formed with other art majors, and I’ve seen myself growing as an artist through those relationships,” Lehman says. “I expected to grow this year, but I didn’t know how. So I’m really happy where I ended up.”

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Published June 4, 2015