The commotion’s in the emotion

POULSBO — Bellingham native Jessica Bergsma Rockenbach, 21, was born — quite literally — into the art world.

In the midst of her mother Jody’s nationwide art tour, Rockenbach’s life began on the road, tracing her initial love of art back to her days traveling to galleries around the country.

“We lived in an RV traveling to different art shows,” Rockenbach said. “And I guess that pushed me in the direction of becoming an artist.”

Now a senior at the Northwest College of Art, Rockenbach, with four other graduating seniors, will hold one final show from 6-9 p.m. next Tuesday at the college, one that will showcase three years worth of art the students have been creating.

As an artist, Rockenbach fills her palate with classical rendering designs and much figurative work. One theme she’ll have during the art show is her love and skill of using “sacred geometry” — a form that comes from her love of shapes formed by nature, and the laws that govern them.

“The more you look at nature, the more perfect it becomes,” she said.

Art must be vibrant and alive, evoking emotion from those who behold it, Rockenbach said.

“I’m a firm believer in imagery affecting personal consciousness,” she commented. “It’s really important to create work that has vitality as an artist.”

Tuesday’s show features five NCA students’ individual talents but the artists in the show revealed that the theme of their works are less about saying something, and more about feeling something.

“One thing that connects all of us is that our art is emotional and not verbal,” said fellow senior Nick Murnan, 22. “(The art) is more about a feeling than an idea.”

Murnan, a native of Anchorage, Alaska, described his art work as a comic book-influenced cartoon renderings, resembling the Anime-style. He, too, tries to vivify his work to show feeling.

“With emotion,” Murnan said, “You can through the whole range of human experience.”

Another of the seniors, Joel Hinxman, 22, from Missoula, Mont., does many illustrations of friends and family, some similar in look to those of Murnan’s works. The focus of Hinxman’s art is almost always on the foreground and not on the background.

“I don’t really worry about what goes on in the background,” Hinxman said. “It’s more about the subject.”

Jacob Meier, 21, from Fort Lupton, Colo., does painting and illustrations which are largely linked to nature. But he splits his style into two parts — “Professional” and “Childish,” he said.

“Some of my work is kind of corporate,” Meier said, referring to the marketing designs he’s done for businesses. “But a lot of it is kind of silly.”

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