Art student wins first Cornelia Hoppe Art Exhibit Award
College of Education students, faculty and staff, as well as clients visiting the HEDCO Clinic for counseling, now have a new art exhibit to offer comfort. The exhibition was made possible thanks to the Cornelia Hoppe Art Exhibit Award.
Katy Keuter, a self-taught artist and currently an undergraduate art student, is the first recipient of the award. Keuter’s embroidered textile canvases stand out from other submissions because they represent his own consulting experiences at the HEDCO Clinic.
The canvases, made from recycled tablecloths and featuring a range of simple shapes cut from colorful second-hand quilts, are on display in the University Student Services Suite on the first floor of the HEDCO building.
“I applied for this award because I love the HEDCO building. It’s really special,” Keuter said.
The annual Cornelia Hoppe Art Exhibit Prize is open to students to submit artwork for display in the HEDCO Building and is named after Cornelia Hoppe, who graduated with a Bachelor of Education in 1951. Hoppe works as couple and family therapist and recently included the College of Educational Counseling Psychology Department as part of an estate gift. The gallery space is named after Hoppe to honor his contribution and his own passion for art.
Keuter says her exhibit, titled “Mingled,” is tied to an old sketch she drew during a previous counseling session. During one of their last dates, Keuter’s adviser encouraged her to draw what she wanted in her future. She drew a happy scene where her children were happy and she had her own house.
“This exhibition is very childish, simple and full of hope. And that’s how I felt when I was doing this sketch,” Keuter said.
Keuter started attending counseling sessions during a difficult time in her life, and she said it was sometimes difficult to show up. After years living abroad, she had returned to her home state of Oregon and worked several jobs to care for her family. She had little time to think about herself.
His adviser regularly asked him: “What do you want to do? Keuter said she hadn’t thought about what she wanted until then. She began to remember childhood bike rides around campus and the UO art studios. She remembered her lifelong dream of going to college at UO, then realized she wanted to go back to school and get an art degree.
When she learned that she had won the Cornelia Hoppe Art Exhibit Award, Keuter was especially touched because her art would be displayed in an area of the building that she used to walk through on her way to counseling sessions. It made him think of all the people who could use the counseling service now.
“I want my art to be there for people who show up and feel stressed out,” she said. “I want them to have something simple and full of color. Because I know what it’s like to be that person and how hard it can be to show up.
Keuter said she was grateful that the HEDCO Clinic provided affordable services for her and her family. The Center for Healthy Relationships at HEDCO Clinic works with couples, families and individuals to address relationship challenges from a family systems perspective.
The clinic’s providers are couple and family master’s students
Therapy programs that are supervised by licensed couples and family therapists. Donor support has enabled services to be costed on a sliding scale, making them affordable for clients.
“I can’t believe this advice exists because it’s such a great program,” Keuter said. “I imagine all these families coming here, and I want them to see art that they could relate to. I want them to see the possibilities.
Although Keuter had families like his in mind, the exhibit is meant to be meaningful to all who see it. Keuter intentionally chose textiles for the piece to create a soft feel, and the exhibit is a collection of a dozen canvases that evoke the image of a quilt. The embroidery connects the shapes of the fabric.
“It’s supposed to be accessible to everyone,” Keuter said. “And I wanted the exhibit to be very simple because I wanted people to come up and think, ‘I could do it.'”
“And yes, you can do it,” she said. “I wanted them to feel a certain freedom.
“It’s come full circle for me,” she said. “I wouldn’t even be here doing this if I hadn’t gone to the HEDCO clinic.”
— By Madeline Ryan, College of Education