Retired Administrators' Art Exhibit Opens "Beyond the Fifth Floor"
Retirement for most means slowing down and taking it easy. Two of Michigan Tech's retiring professors, Christa Walck and Max Seel look to retirement as an opportunity to showcase their artistic talents.
The Kerredge Gallery, located in the Copper Country Community Arts Center (CCCAC) in Hancock, will host an exhibit of their work titled "Beyond the Fifth Floor" now through June 11, with a public opening reception at 6 p.m. today.
"Beyond the Fifth Floor" has special meaning to both Seel and Walck, signifying their 30 years of service to Michigan Tech as professors, deans, provost and associate provost.
When Seel served as provost and Walck as associate provost, their offices were on the fifth floor of the Administration building. It is there that they built a friendship and discovered their mutual love of art.
"When we retire, we should do an exhibit," Walck suggested when the two would show each other their latest creations.
After 30 years of working together, that wish is now a reality. Seel uses mixed media in his abstract art. His piece titled "Integrated Systems" utilizes actual computer components that have been manipulated and brought to life using color and texture.
He says he tries different things "to see what fits; sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't." Seel explains that some pieces require detailed planning and others "just come along." He has been developing his artistic skills since he was young. "Art is like making music or thinking about a physics problem, it takes your mind off everything else," he says.
Walck artistically expresses herself through a variety of applications, using computer generated "paint" programs, her current favorite, as well as larger board and paper paintings.
"I always loved art on paper" she says as she shows some of her beautiful creations.
"Art is how we express the world we see and feel, form and color and line say something about the world and the artist."
Walck's view of the world consists of pieces that are largely unframed and are very simply displayed. It is in this simplicity that one truly appreciates the piece for what it is, art, she believes.
Seel and Walck were asked about plans they had for retirement. Seel plans to travel more and dedicate more time to his art, while Walck is relocating to Philadelphia after she returns from Italy. Then she too plans to dedicate more time to her art.
Both Seel and Walck have left their mark on Michigan Tech. Their academic accomplishments and their work on the fifth floor was impressive, but it is beyond the fifth floor that you actually see their hearts and their passion—through their art.