Discovery in Art & Visual Studies

Students enjoy opportunities to showcase the artwork they pour their time and developing talent into.

Student artwork in Greenleaf Gallery.Display Your Art

A sculpture of vicious teacups attacking an angry teapot. Dark footprints leading up the art gallery wall, with tree branches sprouting from it. Softly hued portraits of a woman tying her hair.

Those are only a few of the many amazing artworks that have been on display in Whittier College’s serene Greenleaf Gallery—and each one produced by students.

At the end of each academic year, students’ work is featured in the gallery and are eligible for awards. Multiple pieces have been purchased by the President's Office in the past for installation elsewhere on campus.

A statue of a homeless person outside Deihl Hall.Sparking Conversation with Homeless Statues

Outside Deihl Hall, a homeless figure pushed one shopping heavily loaded cart ahead of them, while pulling a second. Outside the shiny Science & Learning Center, a second figure sat still on a bench by a cardboard sign reading, “God bless.”

They’re not real—they’re statues—but Jada Henry designed her installation to bring people’s attention to the plight of homelessness. She hoped the statues inspired people to volunteer to help the homeless, adding that “it starts on campus. It starts on the street across from you. It starts with everyday life and what you see.”

The statues were effective. In her space within the Wardman Art Center, she built their bodies out of metal and clothed them in jackets and pants that even second-hand stores couldn’t sell. The transformation from raw materials to roughed-up statues is so effective that art professor David Sloan, who advised Jada on the project, has momentarily mistaken them for the real deal.

Student artwork in Greenleaf Gallery.Master Your Art

All around the art exhibit in Greenleaf Gallery, rusted, tarnished, or natural scavenged items were embedded, cradled in, or broke through modern building materials. Their creator, Davis Gerber, had created brief moment of cohesion between old and new.

The art major enjoyed the challenges of the sculpture series, which he crafted through the Fifth-Year Fellowship. The one-year program is awarded to a truly outstanding Whittier College studio art graduate who intends to pursue a Master of Fine Art degree. With access to Wardman Gym, fellows produce a formally and conceptually coherent body of work for their graduate school applications.

“It challenged the instinctive and calculating process I rely on,” Gerber said.

For more information about the fellowship, contact the Art and Visual Studies Department or visit the Fellowships website.