Northwestern to feature senior art exhibit

A floor installation that turns shotgun shells into a sea of roses is one of the works to be displayed by Northwestern College senior Claudia Bomgaars in Te Paske Gallery April 6–10.
Claudia Bomgaars, a Northwestern College student and Orange City resident originally from Colombia, will present her senior art exhibit in the college’s Te Paske Gallery April 6–10. A public reception is scheduled for Tuesday, April 7, at 7 p.m.

Bomgaars’ show, titled “Retrospection,” is part of the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in art. It features work inspired by memories of her childhood and adolescence.

“‘Retrospection’ is a means to process my personal story with the armed conflict my country has been involved in for over 50 years,” she says. “It has provided me with an opportunity to discover the therapeutic effects of art-making. My desire is to show the viewer how we often tend to overlook our experiences in life—particularly those that are dark—and how sometimes it is necessary to explore our past in order to find healing and meaning in our present.”

Bomgaars’ exhibit will include oil paintings as well as installations and sculptures made out of recycled shotgun shells and bullet casings. “As my reflection involves recalling both positive and negative aspects, I have worked to find a balance through the transformation of seemingly negative materials into positive works of art,” she says. A floor installation made from the remnants of ammunition, for example, becomes a sea of delicate and beautiful roses.

Bomgaars is the daughter of Arcesio Soto Claros of Pitalito in the Huila Department of Colombia. After graduating from Northwestern, she plans to take courses in floral design and apply for a position in the field.

Te Paske Gallery is located in the Thea G. Korver Visual Arts Center, on Highway 10 at 214 8th Street SW in Orange City. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to midnight Sunday.