GODFREY – The photography of Lewis and Clark Community College alumna Kaleigh Grace will be featured this summer in “Intimate Parallels,” a solo exhibition at Picture This and More in Alton. Grace, 22, of Dow, graduated this spring from Lewis and Clark with an Associate in Arts–Fine Art, and an Associate in Applied Science in Graphic Design.

“Intimate Parallels,” will feature 12 photographs made during her time at Lewis and Clark.

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“Having my first solo exhibition is a very surreal experience. As an artist, I think it’s just one of those big crowning moments you dream of and to see it come to fruition is very special,” Grace said.“The images are part of a larger body of work I have been exploring for some time now, which focuses on the natural world and its connection to the human body.

“I take a holistic and empathetic approach to my work in order to present the figure and landscape with an honesty that is both inviting and empowering. Overall, I was inspired by feminist concepts and the human experience.”

An opening reception will be held from 4-7 p.m., Friday, June 25, and the general public is welcome to attend. The show itself will run June 25-July 24 at Picture This and More, 17 E. Broadway, Alton, Illinois. Regular gallery hours will be from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.

Grace won a lot of recognition for her work at L&C, both in art and graphic design. Among her accolades are Graphic Design Student of the Year 2021, Photography Student of the Year 2021, and the 2021 Gene Ursprung Award for Photography. She also earned Excellence in Illustration, Graphic Design, and Writing for The Bridge student newspaper, won Best in Show at the 15th Annual Student Art Exhibition in 2019, earned Special Recognition at the 16th Annual Student Art Exhibition in 2021, and was the cover design winner for the Peppermint Rooster Review, L&C’s student literary magazine, in 2021.

In 2020, her work was featured in the Art St. Louis exhibition, Varsity Arts XXIV. She was also active in the L&C Honors College, Student Art League and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

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Grace said L&C provided her a solid foundation and start to her career and education.

“I struggled to decide on my college major at first, but taking classes at L&C really helped me grow and figure out what I love doing,” she said. “I ended up following my passions and pursued creative degrees in graphic design and fine art.
Grace found a mentor in Professor of Art Jeff Vaughn, who retired from L&C this spring.

“I have had so many mentors and professors that I adore and who have helped me in my journey,” she said. “I would say Jeff Vaughn has been one of the greatest mentors. He is one of the kindest people I have met and has spent hours helping me further myself as an artist and student. He is also a phenomenal artist and his work constantly amazes me.” Vaughn not only taught Grace, but was instrumental in coordinating “Intimate Parallels.”

“Kaleigh is a wonderful, talented student to work with,” Vaughn said. “She is creative, seeks advice and enjoys dialogue about her artwork. It’s been a very rewarding experience to be one of her teachers. Kaleigh has produced beautiful, compelling photographs for this exhibition.”

Grace also credits former professor Steve Campbell and Assistant Professor Louise Jett, who not only coordinates the Graphic Design program but advises The Bridge, for steering her into a creative career in graphic design. She counts working for The Bridge among her favorite memories at the college.

“Every professor I have had has helped me grown personally and professionally, Louise Jett especially. I’ve really fleshed out my portfolio in the process and made so many great friends,” she said. “I love the small class sizes and the ability to really make connections with my professors. It’s allowed me to create a great network of friends.”

Grace will transfer to the University of Missouri St. Louis this fall to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design.

She would love to one day work as an illustrator or designer for a magazine or design firm. In her free time, she enjoys running competitively, creating short films, and reading lots of manga.

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