By Analise Nelson
The inspiration was color.
Rachel Hayford, PLNU visual arts major with a concentration in painting, held her Senior Art Exhibition called, For My Sister, on Tuesday, March 22 from 5-7 p.m. This is Hayford’s last year at Point Loma, which for her means that this exhibition is what she has been working toward for the past four years. “It’s really exciting, because it’s a culmination of four years of work,” said Hayford. “It is really surreal.”
The inspiration for her senior exhibit is the color lavender. She said there are many meanings behind the color lavender. “Color is super important as far as where this came from,” said Hayford. “Lavender is really about softness and femininity.”In Hayford’s artist statement posted in the gallery, she said that she is using color to create a home – a haven. It is a collection of materials that work together to make a space that invites people to find rest.
“It is an imaginary world I want to give to my eleven year old sister and to my eleven year old self,” her statement read. “Line, shape, color, and texture are essentially to the repeating semiotic imagery. It finds purity, silence, devotion, caution, serenity, grace, calmness, and softness.”
Jim Skalman, PLNU professor of art, has had a huge impact on her as an artist, she said. “He has encouraged me in my own creative process and to pursue this as a lifelong career,” said Hayford.“She is a really excellent student. From a scholastic standpoint, that gives her the opportunity to operate at a higher level of academia,” said Skalman. “She is very poised and self confident.”
Lael Corbin, another PLNU art professor, said that Hayford was really mature and talented to begin with. Corbin said that her ideas have become more sophisticated and that she has become more personal, while different things have strengthened her messages.
“There is a maturity that came from her study abroad experience and verbal ease and how she goes about her life that makes its way into her thinking process,” said Corbin. “She is always very positive,” he said with a laugh, “which does make her unique among our students.”
Alice Bachour, senior PLNU visual arts major with a concentration in sculpting, has known Hayford since freshman year. Bachour said that Hayford is not just good at one thing, but at many different aspects that are needed in order to be an artist. “Her current show has this repetition of circles all throughout, even down to the subject matter of her paintings,” said Bachour. “They are focusing on the marks of her skin.”
Bachour thinks that Hayford’s uniqueness lies in her well-rounded nature and her confidence in herself as a working artist, not just an artist. “While starting out as a painter, she’s also incorporated sculpture, embroidery, and ceramics into her work,” said Bachour. “She has a good sense for business and doesn’t allow herself to be undersold.”
Hayford’s roommate, Savannah Frantz, senior PLNU biology-chemistry major, said that it’s different seeing some of the smaller parts first and then interesting seeing it all come together. “Every little detail shows Rachel,” said Frantz. “I can see her past, present and future all integrated into this show.”
Corbin said that Hayford has many opportunities for her future in art. “I think she has the ability to become a really fantastic art teacher or go to a graduate hall and become a fine artist,” said Corbin.
Looking back on her time at PLNU, Hayford said she is grateful for the people. “Point Loma has been an amazing place to call home these last four years,” said Hayford. “I’m really grateful for the community I’ve found here both in my department and through my involvement with Spiritual Development.”
Bachour said that Rachel knows what she needs to get done and that she has a clear mind. “I feel that since junior year, I considered her a “rival” of sorts, but in a much friendlier way than that,” said Bachour. “She has brought up the level of our class so much, and I think without her I would feel very lonely. I have a lot of pride in just knowing her.”
Hayford said she is looking forward to a future in art, because it not an end to what she has been working on. “It doesn’t feel like a period. It feels like a comma for my career,” said Hayford.