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  • Writer's pictureTye Ojala

Clarke Student's Art Gallery

Updated: Feb 25

Clarke University held an art show from 2-4PM on Sunday, February 11th. There were various pieces on display, and the Crux got a chance to speak with a student who had some of his work out for the public to see. Other students pieces in this article also show great displays of talent. The colors are very vibrant with the blue and purple we see. There could be a deeper meaning to discover with the art work on the right. The time these students put in this gallery is really shown, it took days, weeks, some even months to make it all look so incredible.

The picture below is astonishing as the colors jump off the page at the viewer. The blue and orange feel vibrant as these colors flow together very well. Everything in the piece goes along well with another, nothing seems forced.

The student that got interviewed was Michael Pettke who is a sophomore at Clarke, he is a member of the Men’s Volleyball team and Esports team as well. He majors in graphic design, which is a reason he was able to get into making these incredible pieces. We were able to speak with him for a little bit after the art show was complete to get some extra insight from him.


Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this piece. What themes or ideas are you exploring?

Professor Elizabeth Schmid and Eric Wold at Clarke advised me to emphasize using art history and color theory practices in my artwork. Collage work is something that I have always gravitated towards as an artist.  


What motivated you to create this body of work? Mainly late renaissance and baroque artwork? 

I wanted to use artwork that uses the style of realism in order to add a narrative to my collage. Artists like: Peter Paul Rubens, DaVinci, Artemesia Gentileschi.


How long have you been making art like this for?

I have been working with the software for about 7 years now but only expressing myself artistically in the last 2 years. 


Are there any specific artists that influence your work?

Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Albert Bierstadt, Arshile Gorky.


What advice would you give to aspiring artists who may be inspired by your work?

 Just make art, whether its digital or physical, with a pencil or with a paintbrush, just start. 


 Are there any specific challenges you encountered while creating this?

How did you overcome them? Being a dual sport athlete I’m always on a time crunch and artwork takes time to make, so managing my time was difficult for me as well as trying to sketch things out and show my professors my process. 


Michael is currently in the midst of his season with the Men’s Volleyball team and also the Esports team, we wish him the best of luck in his competitions. The delicate precision of these pieces by Michael is inspiring to see. He is someone who is doing two sports at one time and in a major where the workload is high is amazing to see. We hope to see more art pieces in the future from him as these were fantastic to witness in person.

Tye Ojala


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