Milligan College art exhibition highlights importance of perspective in life

Published 7:53 am Friday, November 16, 2018

Milligan College is hosting its Senior Art Exhibition this week, featuring the photography work of two of its seniors. This week, Andrea Holtsinger showcased her work in Derthick Hall. Last week, it was Shaun Whitson’s turn.

Whitson, double majoring in biology and fine arts, said the seemingly contradicting choice in studies is what inspired the theme of his exhibition.

“People think they are opposites,” Whitson said. “In reality, they do the same things. Science observes things, analyzes them and forms conclusions. Art does the same thing. It observes, analyzes and then produces art.”

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Whitson titled his exhibition “Near and Far,” choosing to highlight how different perspectives can sometimes radically change the nature of an image.

Examples of images include close-up images of mushrooms to far-away images of mountains.

Whitson said he took both a literal and a metaphorical approach to the theme.

“Literally, I took both up-close and far away images, from photos of plants a few millimeters away to photos of galaxies thousands of light-years away from us,” he said.

From a metaphorical perspective, Whitson highlighted a photo he took of Hillary Clinton.

“When you look at her, you see a politician,” he said. “People who see her either hate her or love her. It highlights the perspective: Near and Far.”

He said he has been taking pictures since 2013, after a failed attempt at painting as his preferred art form instead.

“Photography has been abused,” Whitson said. “On social media, all you see are artificial or vacation photos. I want to think about the deeper meaning.”

He said for him, taking photos is about gaining perspective.

“There are so many things we just miss,” he said. “We just pass them by.”

Whitson plans to graduate this December, and though he is not entirely set on what his future will be with photography, he said he knows the legacy he will leave behind at Milligan College.

“Our photography professor, Alice Anthony, Andrea and I will be her last students. She is retiring in the fall,” he said. “It is an honor to learn from her.”