This feature was conceived as a foray into the hearts/minds of Kenyon’s finest artists through the pages of their sketchbooks. This week, we talk with Sandy Stibitz ’14, an American Studies major/Studio Art minor.
Despite the title of this series, you can see a lot of character from the outside of this artist’s sketchbook. She gave me an outside and inside look at two of her sketchbooks, worn and torn from love and use.
Inside are designs dabbled with notes and musings, ranging from human faces and bodies to colorful abstract designs. The myriad of colorful expanses really reflect the vision Stibitz has for her art. “I draw a lot of faces, body parts, and designs,” she explained. “Most of my art on paper is conceptual as opposed to technical or purely visual”
Stibitz came to Kenyon not expecting to take art classes at all. Freshman year, she took the plunge with a sculpture class and fell in love, starting her journey to completing her Art minor. Her favorite class along the way that really left an impression was Art With a Function with Professor Gunderson, a class that focuses on art in the form of a functional object, like a chair, lamp or table. “It’s nice to be able to make something useful, that doesn’t just sit there. I’d like to be able to do that in the future if I have time,” she noted.
Stibitz mentioned Max Ernst as one of her favorite artists at the moment, especially when it comes to his use of mixed media.“To me, what matters more is the aesthetic. It’s more about the overall image.” In this sense, she cited designs like older book covers as one of her main sources of inspiration.
As an American Studies major, she has seen overlap with her Studio Art minor in several ways. Most directly for her comps Stibitz is working on “linoleum prints based on the Mississippi River”, visual art to cap her intellectual journey in American Studies. Looking at American art as part of her major study has been a vital part of her Kenyon experience. And now, during research and inspiration for comps, she has been looking at the work of black print makers and how they overcame different social issues.
When it comes to art after she leaves Kenyon, Stibitz is unsure of pursuing employment in a field in which directly involves it. She is, however, sure that she will never give it up as a form of expression — “I imagine that I’d always keep drawing. I definitely want to make more furniture. I would love to work more at combining art with activism. Hopefully I can do that at some time.”