Old people show their art in Conkling
Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Effie R. Conkling Art Gallery is home to a multitude of showcases throughout the year that feature artwork by students, graduates, and faculty. Currently, Conkling is presenting the third of this semester’s senior showcases, which are opportunities for graduate fine art students to exhibit their work.
One of the featured artists, Lin Hilliker, presents a collection of nine acrylic paintings accompanied by an interactive element. The collection tells the story of a murder and its suspects and viewers are invited to be detectives and try to find the culprit.
The paintings are filled with text and clues, so Hilliker encourages plenty of sleuths to find out who did it, and then have people pin a notecard next to their suspect. Hilliker likens his play to a hidden object game.
“I was always interested in True Crime stories and film noir when I was younger and decided I had to do something about it. You can start with the main characters and then keep building,” Hilliker said “It’s set in this town called Melville, and then you see the evidence collected from the crime scene, and then the suspects and the murder weapon are at the end. They really build on each other.
Hilliker described her journey with art as something that came naturally to her and continued to develop as she got older.
“I was always into art as a kid, like most people, but I really started getting into it in the freshman year of high school,” Hilliker said. “One of my teachers at the time was a very popular local artist, and she always told me, ‘you have to keep working on this stuff, you have so much potential,’ and so I hung on to that.”
Hilliker came to Mankato with only the thought that she needed to pursue art in some form.
“For a while I toyed with the idea of creative arts like film, just looking for something. When I really started taking steps, I decided education was what I was about. wanted to focus because I like it and I want to share my knowledge and my values,” Hilliker said.
Next semester, Hilliker will end his career here at MSU teaching students. Hilliker wants to help others see that art is important and necessary in life.
“I will really be in the world of teaching and I will have a good experience. I wish I could eventually show work that I’ve done in more galleries and really get my name out there,” Hilliker said. “Art is an investigation. This is how you describe what you’re thinking without using words because sometimes not using words can be enough.
The Senior Showcase Opening Reception took place last night, Wednesday April 27th. The Conkling Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Nelson Hall. The exhibition will end on May 5.
Header photo: The final round of senior art showcases took place last night, April 27, at Nelson Hall. (Maddie Behrens/The Reporter)
Write to: Syd Berggren at [email protected]