Caitlin Southwick ’20 Discusses Her Senior Artwork

Katie Cerulle ’22

Contributing Writer

Art is one form of self-expression that many find to be one of the more fascinating aspects of human creativity and ability. Among artists, some find a brush and paint to be the easiest method of displaying their emotions or creating an image. Within the Trinity community, Caitlin Southwick ’20 uses her artwork to encapsulate numerous accounts of the human condition within a few frames. 

A senior sociology and art studies double major, Caitlin is heavily involved in campus life, being both the president of the Mill and a coxswain on the varsity women’s rowing team. She is currently  haerd at work writing a sociology thesis and creating a studio arts visual piece as well.

Her admiration for art stems from when she was just a young girl, telling her entire first grade class that when she grew up, she would become an artist. As she continued through school, her artwork became a larger part of her life and soon became a major passion. When she arrived at Trinity, however, she was not sure that visual art was something she wanted to continue to pursue as a discipline. Putting her unsteady feelings aside, Caitlin decided to take another art class, and loved being able to express herself through the medium she was so accustomed to. Thus, she decided to add a studio art major and continue to explore her passion academically and intellectually at Trinity College.

Now a senior, Caitlin has had the ability to create her own artwork that represents an important aspect of her life. She described her studio arts project, a masterfully designed series of people playing cards. The paintings are based on images, taken by Caitlin, of groups of four to nine friends casually playing card games together in casual settings. She then chooses the most genuine, emotional photos and recreates the image on a large canvas. Though the image may seem simplistic, it holds numerous truths that demonstrate the creative talent Caitlin possesses.

A card game is one of the simplest, genuine human interactions that a person can have, said Caitlin.
Many of us grew up on silly card games. As illuminated by Caitlin, these images are metaphorical as well as literal. “The card game represents the trajectory of a typical human friendship,” she explains, “the longer you play, or hang around with someone, the more you learn about how people act; whether they’re competitive, easy going, anxious.” The cards also represent the idea that no matter how much you understand about the outward actions of another person, you never truly know the ‘hand’ they hold. In other words, while someone may seem mutinous or recalcitrant, their personal torments may be controlling their actions and their attitudes.

If you want to view Caitlin’s work in person, come to the arts thesis show on Apr. 21. 

bclark

Brendan W. Clark '21 is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Trinity Tripod, Trinity College's student newspaper.

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