Students share work with the campus community

By Jacquie Wolfe - Staff Reporter

As Spring Quarter ends, art and design students hustled to put all of their best work together to showcase for friends, family, and even future employers.

On June 3 and June 4, the Mt. Constance and Mt. Olympus rooms in Building 8 were transformed for the annual Portfolio Show.

Tables were set up for students to present their art work, resumes, business cards, and their portfolios that they have worked tirelessly on through- out the quarter.

Each station showcased each student's individual talents, as well as their style, expertise, and unique projects they put together.

"Highline is full of very talented people," said Olive Nguyen, a visual communications student. "Everyone has their own style, and everyone's personalities shine through with each presentation."

For most students, the best part about the Portfolio Show was seeing the final product from all of their hard work during the year.

By going through all of the stress and pressure from this project, it gave students the feeling of relief once they set up their project for community eyes to see.

"It was very hectic trying to put everything together, but it worked out well and I am very proud of what I created," said Gwendellyn Muhalia, an interior design student. "Seeing the end result was very relieving."

"I started with one idea, but it changed over time," said Sendy Nguyen, a visual communications student. "It is important to choose what makes you feel comfortable."

There were a lot of challenges that students faced while completing their projects. 

"Last week, the Print Shop broke down, so students had to go to other places, such as FedEx, to get their projects printed out," said Samuel Hernandez, a visual communications student. 

One of the biggest challenges that most students experienced was handling all of the work that needed to be done in order to be ready for the Portfolio Show. 

"In the beginning, all of us didn't know what we were doing," Olive Nguyen said. "But, in the end, everyone was able to pull through."

For most students, procrastination became a big challenge in getting their projects finished and refined for the big event. 

"Procrastination was definitely key for students," Gaebriel Min said. "The sense of stress and pressure helped influence us to finish our projects."

Each student wanted to make sure their project was viewed with the correct emotion, mood, and experience they envisioned.

"Trying to choose the most appealing photos was hard," said Natalee Gerlt, a photography student. "Photographers want to convey a certain mood and it can be hard to choose the right photos to do so." 

Gerlt further explained that people viewing photos generally like to view photos that are full of color, light, and objects. For her project, she wanted to show more muted and emotional pictures, which was reflected through her selection of artwork, which included a black and white print of a solitary woman at the beach. But, she also offered a counterpoint of a colorful portrait of a woman.

Some of the faculty members also faced some challenges while putting this event together. With approximately 40 students participating, this became one of the largest Portfolio Show's that Highline has hosted.

"There are always challenges. We as faculty have to make sure everyone is on board and always advising the students every step of the way," said Josie Lawton, an arts and design faculty member. 

Many students have art work and projects that show their unique ideas and the depth of their creativity. Since these students want to share their passion, events like this help give them a platform to share, Hernandez said.

"I want to spread my artwork around because it has a lot of meaning and purpose," he said. 

Although some students are continuing their educations at Highline after this event, they were given the opportunity to showcase their work for potential employers. This gave them the opportunity to understand and experience all of the work that is needed to in order to be ready for their future careers. 

"I own my own business, and this project helped with improving my own business," Sendy Nguyen said. 

"The content is required for jobs, I am happy and very grateful to have this experience for my future job," said Anna Koyakina, a drafting student. 

Several of the spectators were thrilled and excited to see all of the artwork that students have been working on throughout the quarter and were very impressed with what they saw. 

"I'm taken away by all of this art," one observing student said. 

Some students gave advice on what future arts and design majors should keep in mind when it is their time to participate in the Portfolio Show in the future.

"Do everything as soon as possible," Hernandez said.

"Don't overthink, make yourself comfortable, and don't stress," Sendy Nguyen said.

"Trust your gut, if you don't like your [project] then no one else will feel the way you want them to," Gerlt said. 

"Look at examples and really think about what you want to do," Koyakina said.

"Be prepared and have all of your work together, take a lot of pictures, and make sure the quality of your work is reflected for future employers," Muhalia said. 

In the end, students were relieved to be finished with their projects and were proud of the hard work they put into it.

"Now, we're celebrating because we're done," Olive Nguyen said.

In the end, students were judged within three categories on their work. These categories included a People's Choice Award, which was voted on by the people observing the event, a faculty award, and a professional award. 

The results of these awards will be posted on the Highline website today. 

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