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Q&A: Meet the artist - Ashley Konsdorf

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When Ashley Konsdorf came to Franklin College, she knew she wanted to study art. The difficult part was narrowing down what medium to focus on.

A talented photographer, she also was interested in ceramics, watercolor and design. She felt as much at home working with pencil and paper as with computer graphics.

Konsdorf will display the best work from her varied college career during a solo exhibition at the college’s Johnson Center for the Fine Arts. From graphic design to painting and drawing, the show will encompass her four years at the school through class projects and her own works.

Her hope is that people take the concepts that she’s tried to capture and use them as a basis to form their own ideas about art.

“I would like people to identify with my art in their own way,” she said.

The exhibition will be open through Monday at the Branigin Atrium. Afterward, pieces will be included in the annual student art exhibit.

Konsdorf, a native of Freeland, Mich., came to Franklin in 2009. At Franklin College, she focused her studies on studio art. But graphic design has emerged as her primary focus. She helped design the logo for the Franklin College Art Club, for which she served as the president.

“Graphic design is a way that I can, even in the smallest way, make the average world more beautiful with designs such as logos and branding,” she said.

What are some of the most notable or memorable inspirations you’ve had for your artwork?

I am inspired by the beauty of nature and used that in my ceramic work, which is mostly organic work, and my paintings. I also love to use my friends and roommate as sources of inspiration for my photographs. Another notable inspiration is promoting literacy. I work for the Johnson County Learning Center, and I create the design work they need to help promote the nonprofit organization and promote early childhood literacy.

What drew you toward art and particularly graphic design?

Growing up I always liked to be artistic. But it wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I realized it was what I wanted to spend my life doing. I originally wanted to be a photographer, then when I was a sophomore in college I took my first graphic design course and realized this was the path I wanted to focus on.

What is the focus of this exhibit?

My art show is based on the best works I have made over my time here at Franklin College, a showcase that includes many different mediums. Having a studio art major you are required to take everything from painting, design, photography and ceramics. The show will showcase works from each class I’ve taken.

What kind of approach do you take when you set out to create something?

My approach to making art varies based on the type of medium I am using. I like to get in a mindset of making the art and usually listen to music.

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