Earlier this spring, Kellogg Community College hosted an annual Student Art Exhibition featuring 97 works from nearly 50 students currently in art, photography, multimedia and graphic design programs.
Three of them were local students and all earned an honorable mention in the show — Jacob Taylor of Coldwater, Rachelle Hawks of Union City and Kristen Lehman of Bronson.
Taylor, graduated from Coldwater High School in 2020 and about the same time, he started using a camera more seriously.
“My interests in photography spiked when we had that weird sun last year when the California fires smoke distorted the way the sun looked,” Taylor said.
Maybe it also helped the his girlfriend, Alli, is also an artist herself who mostly does paintings.
“The thing that drew me to photography is the fact that you’re not necessarily creating anything, but instead you are changing a person’s perception of the world around them,” Taylor said. “I love seeing all the texture in an image and all the sharp edges.”
One day he was in the older sections of the Oak Grove Cemetery in Coldwater working on a panorama project for his photography class and took photos of what he titled “Unknown Tomb.”
“It’s a series of about 15 photos stitched together in Photoshop,” Taylor said.
When he the art show advertised, Taylor knew he wanted enter some of his work, but was surprised that “Unknown Tomb” was selected from his submissions. While he liked the piece, he submitted others he liked better.
Taylor currently attends KCC to earn credits for general classes then go to Western Michigan University to study aviation, eventually becoming a pilot.
On the side, he has a photography business.
“I do portraits, landscapes, real estate, and even drone work,” Taylor said. “I did have a Realtor contact me and I took drone photos of a lake-front property.”
According to Glenn Brodt, retired Oak Grove Cemetery sexton, the “Unknown Tomb” is a pretty accurate description of the building. More than a century ago it was where those who died during winter rested until the ground could thaw for burial.
Hawks, of Union City, earned an honorable mention in the 2D category for an abstract piece, which she titled “10,000 Marks.”
“I worked on and off on it for a week,” Hawks said. “I actually didn’t have any idea this project would turn out this way. I had to pretty much make sure that there was 10,000 marks on the page.”
She chose to do a circular motion with the marks being different tones of black acrylic paint to create the effect.
“My professor said it gave him Vincent van Gogh vibes,” Hawks said.
Hawks didn’t go to college right out of high school. She graduated from Homer High School in 2007, then from KCC in 2011 with an associates degree in general studies and went back again in January 2020 with plans to graduated in May 2022 with a major in photography/multimedia.
Along with being a student, she is a wife and mother to four children.
“I have always liked drawing as a child,” Hawks said. “I never took any art classes in high school. Everything I have learned has been from my courses at KCC.”
Kristen Lehman, of Bronson, also earned an honorable mention for a black and white photo titled “Underwater.”
The pieces were on display at the Eleanor R. and Robert A. DeVries Gallery through April and can be viewed online at rosep9.wixsite.com/kccstudentartexhibit. The work was juried by art professionals from outside the college.