Lorin Zehr Tells the Story of Family and Self-Discovery in her Senior Showcase, “Homestead”

Within the passages of Byars Hall, black and white photographs grace the eyes of passersby. Decaying barns and antiquities encased in ruin are hidden within several pieces that comprise Lorin Zehr’s senior showcase.

Zehr is obtaining her Bachelor’s in Studio Art with a Visual Communication Minor. She showcased her project entitled “Homestead” on February 7.

The project is a series of photographs documenting her journey of discovery; becoming aware of the family she didn’t know she had. It encapsulates the idea of the beginning, and the end, and documents the transition from knowing who she was to the newfound knowledge of her family and self.

“These photos are from a family barn that sits on a homestead where our family began. This was the last time anyone ever really got to go in that barn. It was me, my father, and one of my relatives, and I was one of the last people to ever get to go in there so I wanted to document absolutely everything that I could,” Zehr said.

Her showcase combines elements from both her areas of study, pulling from her experience in curating studio art as well as ensuring each piece communicates its intended meaning. The artistic process meant combing through photos and arranging them into an organized exhibit.

“My biggest struggle was the process of forming the show from something that was in my head into something on paper and in frames,” she explained.

Observers may notice all the photographs are documented in black and white. This was an intentional artistic choice made by Zehr to distance oneself from former prejudices such as time, colors, and emotional attachment. Zehr’s favorite piece, “Virkler”, can be seen placed throughout campus buildings on postcards used to advertise the show.

Overall, this exhibit forces onlookers to question their own knowledge of family, to investigate their recorded history, and to remain curious about the world in each distinct sphere of time. “Homestead” remains open to viewing on the first floor of Byars Hall until March 3, 2022.