Lighting up the Brauer

Revealing intensive, semester-long art projects was the end result for four senior Valpo students on Wednesday.

The Brauer Museum of Art hosted the senior design showcase as well as the student art exhibition. The exhibit, which runs through May 8, showcases the final projects for senior design majors, ceramics, photography and drawing.

Senior design majors My Lin Mac, Maddie Harty, Haylee Westendorf and Yihang Chen all provided their projects for the special senior art thesis exhibit. Each project was created using different methods of design and placed in a separate gallery off the museum’s main galleries.

Mac’s project “Bloom” was a digital animation projected onto one of the gallery’s walls. Her project was displayed in a dark room, which helped the animation stand out more. The animation was a consistently-changing, mesmerizing image of a flower.

Harty’s project titled “In Thy Light” was a large display of magnetized LED lights. The project’s title played off Valpo’s motto, “In Luce Tua Videmus Lucem,” which is Latin for, “In thy light, we see light,” and was meant to represent the motto’s meaning. The display is filled with hundreds of LED lights in varying colors. On-hand, there were several magnets viewers could use to swipe across the display, moving the small lights in the magnet’s wake.

Westendorf’s project, titled “Belief Transcends,” is an app that plays on the experience of discovering one’s religious beliefs. Her project was projected onto a wall in the same gallery as Mac’s project. Viewers were able to use an iPad to interact with the app, on which they could draw patterns, leaving behind beads of light that would then fall to the bottom of the screen. Depending on where the animations hit, a different phrase or sound, corresponding to the world’s major religions, would play accompanied by an animation.

Chen’s project, “My Chicago,” was a booklet filled with photographs from the city. The booklet contained familiar images of the skyline, Cloud Gate (the Bean) and Lake Michigan. Viewers were free to flip through the booklet at their leisure.

Several projects from other art majors were also on display at the Brauer. Several awards were given, with cash prizes ranging from $50-$200. Projects were judged by art faculty and staff and were given on a basis of different criteria per award, including difficulty and creativity.

The event was open to the public and many students, faculty, staff and family members came out to support both the senior design majors and the other artists whose work was on display.  

Visitors were encouraged to walk around the museum and observe the students’ projects, and were later asked to vote on whose project they enjoyed most. Westendorf won the People’s Choice Award for her project “Belief Transcends,” a mobile application. Westendorf’s project is available on the iPhone App Store.

These projects, along with the work of other art majors, are on display in the Brauer until May 8. The Brauer is free to all students, faculty and staff, and is open Tuesday through Sunday in the Valparaiso University Center for the Arts.

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch. Contact Emmy Bender at


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