Apr 17, 2023

Senior Elanor Gesch to display art exhibit in Dordt’s art department gallery

Elanor Gesch, a fine arts studio and biology double-major from Colton, South Dakota, will display her art in an exhibit titled “Hiraeth: The Forgotten Imagination.” The exhibit opens in the Dordt University art department gallery on Monday, April 24 and will run through Friday, May 12. An opening reception will be held at the gallery on Friday, April 28 from 7-8 p.m.

Exhibit-goers will find an array of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and found objects that make up a created forest. They will encounter invisible elements revealed by blacklight, which ignites a childhood sense of imagination. Gesch’s use of her invented alphabet adds context to pieces and invites engagement. Gesch has an eye for detail and lighting that creates a believability to her fantastical subject.

“I unknowingly started this series at the end of my first drawing class,” says Gesch. “As I took more art classes I realized the cohesion of my work and developed it more intentionally. I love fantasy and thinking about how we are able to imagine new worlds, creatures, and objects that don’t really exist. But in a way they do exist, and the more we develop our imaginations the more we see it in reality and are inspired by its possibility.”

Often adults think that fantastical imagination is just for children, adds Gesch. But she believes there is a lot of value in seeing the world in a way that goes beyond reality.

Working in the themes of lost worlds and the imagination, Gesch’s work calls adults to keep the sense of imagination children have, especially imagination of the impossible. The show portrays the duality between what is real and what is imagined, examining how the two can interact and work together. The pieces are inspired by real places and photos, but they engage the viewer in making their own connections from their experiences and childhoods.

About Dordt University

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education, Forbes.com, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

A picture of campus behind yellow prairie flowers