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Artists share importance, influence of art at student exhibit

Ypsilanti senior Kendall Freeman showcases his work at the student art exhibit on Nov. 28 in the Bovee University Center Rotunda.

Student artists shared about their work and discussed the importance of art in their lives at an art exhibit Nov. 28 in the Bovee University Center Rotunda.

Nashville, Michigan freshman and student artist Haili Trowbridge knew she wanted to organize an art exhibit for her Student Government Association Senate project. 

“I would have never expected to be putting on an art show when I first came (to Central Michigan University),” she said.

Trowbridge said she would never have known what “amazing things” fellow students were making without projects like her art show.

To contact vendors, or to view or purchase art:

  • Abstractions by Em: Facebook or
  • Bailey Birman:
  • Burnt Art Wood Burning: or
  • Sierra Chadwick: @Misty00_art on Instagram or Mystic4Creations on Etsy
  • Kendall Freeman:
  • Arriel Grace: Instagram
  • Hippie Homemade Art: Hippie Homemade Art on Etsy and Facebook
  • Luster and Twine:
  • Haili Trowbridge: @hhhailii on Instagram

“Art is something that’s (overlooked,)” Trowbridge said. “It’s important for artists to be appreciated.”

Trowbridge displayed art herself, including paintings, cardboard carvings, stickers and painted tiles. 

“I like to create beautiful things,” she said.

Commerce Township junior Julia Wozny showcases her arts and crafts at the student art exhibit on Nov. 28 in the Bovee University Center Rotunda.

Commerce Township junior Julia Wozny, sells her work on Etsy under the title "Hippie Homemade Art" and finds the process of creating can be a “meditative” practice. 

Wozny also works as a yoga instructor and sees relationships between her two passions.

“Yoga and art (are both) pushing the bounds on human experience,” Wozny said.

Wozny incorporates sustainability into her artwork. She uses recycled paper she blends together, re-purposed tins, used photo frames and leftover candle wax.

“We do have a responsibility as artists either to convey a message about sustainability and the environment, or at least use materials that are sustainable,” Wozny said. “It’s very easy to be wasteful when you’re an artist.”

For Wozny, art can be a scientific process of asking questions and experimenting. She has thrown salt, water, oil and chemicals onto artwork “just to see what happens.”

Each medium she uses influences how she works on other media, such as the influence of tie-dying on her painting.

“I don’t focus on one specific type of art,” Wozny said. “I like to combine all of them at once. It all connects."

Ypsilanti senior Kendall Freeman also gets experimental in his work. He described his work as surreal and symbolic fantasy. His artwork has been influenced by a former job at a t-shirt company and his love of tattoo artistry. 

His engraved wood and paintings on display featured symbolism from Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, astrology and mythology. 

One painting was created with dark ideas in mind about people being torn apart by their differing ideologies, but the painting featured bright colors — imitating the way he sees negative things in the world being “cloaked” as positive.

“Politicians will say, ‘I’m doing this for the sake of America, for our progression,’ when in reality it’s taking us backwards,” Freeman explained.

Freeman’s pursuit of art has had an influence on other areas of his life, as well.

“(I use) art as a creative space to think differently and to think creatively. It helps me even write papers,” Freeman said. 

“I’m used to trying to problem solve from as many different angles as I can, trying in the end to get something beautiful,” Freeman added. “Something that when I read it, it flows like poetry.”