January 09, 2012
Article by Rana Tahir '13; photography by Supriya Kasaju '12
Painter and photographer Joel C. Sheesley presented some of his most recent paintings on January 6 in the Round Room of the Ford Center for the Fine Arts at Knox College.
They were inspired by a mix of photography and imagination, which resulted in interesting landscapes and symbols. A professor of art at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, Sheesley spoke of how he has progressed as an artist throughout his life.
On a projector screen, he showed his own work, along with the work of artists who inspired him along his journey. He described it as "a kind of dialogue, with a lot of listening before talking."
Sheesley's exhibit, "Joel Sheesley: A Content of Sorts," will remain on display on the Knox campus until January 31.
Some students reflected on the presentation afterwards.
"This is a great benefit, especially for someone like me, who's interested in the arts," said Deion Horah, a first-year student from Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Hannah Tochtrop, a sophomore from Northglenn, Colorado, was surprised that Sheesley "doesn't start off with a particular meaning (for his paintings) in mind. They come up with a significance of their own."
"I find that a lot in my own work," she said. "It's kind of exciting to see a more accomplished artist do the same."
Tochtrop added: "The variety of the different types of artists they bring kind of shows me that I can be whatever kind of artist I want to be. I don't have to conform to any style."
Rebecca Ott, a senior art major from Des Moines, Iowa, appreciated Sheesley's calm reserve. He "seemed sure of his work."
Reflecting on her four years at Knox, Lexi Kremer, a senior studio art major from West Lebanon, New Hampshire, said she feels that the Knox Department of Art and Art History "is very difficult, very challenging."
On Sheesley's presentation, she noted: "It's very valuable, always having new opinions from people. It helps you grow as an artist."