Not every art student goes through a math phase, but for senior Sara Recknagel, it was just what she needed to uncover her passion for using her perspective of the world as a means to create.
Recknagel had always been good at math, so when it was time to choose a major to pursue in college, it seemed like the only natural path.
Art wasn’t even something that seemed like a possibility.
There weren’t any artists in her family, and beyond the hand lettering she had started to do in high school, Recknagel wouldn’t go so far as to call herself an artist.
But being a math major wasn’t all it seemed cracked up to be.
“Once I got to college and was realizing in my math classes that it wasn’t actually what I had envisioned it to be, and I wasn’t enjoying it and feeling fulfilled by it, I started looking into the Calling and Career office,” Recknagel said.
It was here that she started rethinking the course of life she had chosen. After taking strengths and personality tests, the hand lettering she had done in high school actually seemed like a gateway to something she could see herself pursuing.
Eventually, little doodles and a handful of art classes to introduce Recknagel to the art program turned into a lifelong passion.
“I love art as a means of expression,” said Recknagel. “I don’t feel like I talk very well to express my feelings, but I definitely relate to other artists who create as a means of expressing themselves and as a means of giving you their perspective in life.”
The next three years of college became an avenue to express herself artistically.
Artists like Eva M. Winters, Jelena Donko and Scott Erickson became inspirations to Recknagel, showing her on a deeper level the impact that art can have, despite all the different mediums and forms it can take.
“Writers can so beautifully and uniquely depict their own perspective with words, and artists can do that with visuals,” said Recknagel. “It’s like you’re seeing something through your eyes but that you never thought you would see on a paper or canvas.”
On March 27, multiple students will have the opportunity to share this exact feeling by attending the senior showcase in Metcalf gallery. While it might look different with coronavirus restrictions and a limited audience number, the 17 graphic artists sharing their work will still have the chance to share the piece of the world that they see.
The pieces being shown at the showcase have been culminated throughout all four years of these art students’ careers, a testament to how each student has grown and shaped their artwork over time.
Recknagel looks to this event with excitement, saying that her peers are some of her greatest inspirations.
“Being in class and seeing their work and seeing some really new and awesome ways that they have created is interesting,” said Recknagel. “Even though we’re all given the same problem for an assignment, it’s so fascinating to see all the different ways that we take it.”
She thanks the art department for this and the way that the professors have influenced and led with strong examples for their students.
While being a senior feels bittersweet, Recknagel says it’s been a celebratory year despite the challenges, and with the help and presence from professors and peers, the year has made itself memorable.
“I think it’s a testament to the faculty and the integrated faith and learning at Taylor,” said Recknagel. “They’ve just touched my life and inspired me in loving the Lord with all that I do, in loving my neighbor and in creating art.”