The Sentinel

NIC Student Featured at Blackwell Gallery


NIC Student Featured at Blackwell Gallery

An NIC student was featured at the opening reception of a month-long showcase of her work at Blackwell Gallery on January 12th, an event that coincided with the Arts & Culture Alliance’s January Music Walk event.

First-year NIC student Sydney Olinger won last November’s Aspiring Artist Show with a piece created as an assignment for Jessica Raetzke’s Introduction to Photography class.

“It was the first assignment that I had with Jessica, which was to shoot somebody in water. That was on a list you could choose from. I wanted to make it more creative than just shooting someone in water, so I mixed milk and water in a bathtub and had my sister lay down in it,” Olinger said of the inspiration for the piece.

Olinger cites her beginning experiences with photography as experimentation with her iPhone 5. This then led her to purchase a camera in her senior year of high school.  She entered two pieces into a contest hosted by Emerge in 2016, one of which sold.

Blackwell Gallery Curator Beth Rich Brown wanted to give students the opportunity to have their art featured at the gallery, furthering collaboration between NIC students and the community. Olinger is the second student to have her work featured in the gallery. It will continue to be on display for the following month. If one of her pieces sells, Olinger will receive 100 percent of the sale.

“We’re happy to do it, we will do it for forever,” Brown said about the contest.

Jessica Raetzke and NIC President Rick MacLennan were in attendance for Olinger’s opening reception to congratulate her.

I thought they were terrific—very imaginative and beautifully presented,” MacLennan said of Olinger’s art. He added that Brown has given NIC students the opportunity to be involved in the community. 

“Beth has been so generous with time and the space has been amazing,” Raetzke said. “It’s hard to not feel a little fortunate and like I helped Sidney, but she came to the class with the skills. The creativity is harder to teach than the technical part, and she showed up with that. I’m grateful that she was one of my students.”

Olinger plans to pursue a dental hygiene degree at Idaho State University. If her schedule permits, she would like to continue to take pictures.

Photo Credit: R.M. Perry

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