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Bugs may be a little scary, but they are beautiful, too, says Carly Fink of Alpine, N.J., a graduate of Dwight-Englewood School, who is making them the subject of her senior honors project in studio art.

“I watch them when they’re caught between my windows at home,” says Fink, a double major in art and history. “I think they’re interesting.”

Fink says she hopes to share her appreciation for bugs, which have interesting shapes and in the case of butterflies, obvious charm. “People love to look at butterflies, but there is a beauty to spiders, too.” She aims to convey the message that “everything has value in life.”

Fink’s adviser is Ed Kerns, Lafayette’s Eugene H. Clapp II Professor of Art, an internationally known abstract painter. Kerns is spearheading the development of Lafayette’s new Williams Visual Arts Building, a high-tech art studio and gallery complex that will benefit both Lafayette and Easton. The $3.5 million, 23,500-square-foot facility is located at the base of College Hill, where the Lafayette campus meets downtown Easton. Scheduled to open this fall, it will include studio, gallery, and office space. Programming will include classes for area high school students conducted by Lafayette faculty and honors students.

“It will be a dedicated studio space in which artists will use both traditional and technologically enhanced approaches. It is a place where students and faculty can work side-by-side as co-learners; visiting artists can come to share their knowledge; and members of the community can come to learn,” Kerns says.

One dimension of Fink’s project involves making digital photographs of insects and spiders and then manipulating the images using computer programs.

She is also depicting a spider on a web in acrylic and pastel. She calls this “heavy-handed painting.” “It’s almost surrealistic,” she says. “You’ll be able to tell what it is, but it isn’t realistic.”

Fink will photograph specimens in the biology department. Also, she has ordered baby caterpillars through the mail and will raise them in her art studio, freeing them when they become butterflies. She prefers to observe live bugs, she says, but finds them harder to photograph because they often fly away or blend into the background. And there’s a tiny bit of fear: she doesn’t like touching spiders.

“I know I have the ability to do an honors project and I guess that is my motivation,” Fink says. “I am not sure what it will be like because I have only started my work on it.”

Her professors have been most encouraging.

“They are there for everyone,” Fink says. “They’ve always been so helpful, even before I got here. That’s why I decided on the school. They’re always helpful and open.”

A campus tour guide for the office of admissions, Fink plans to become involved with one of the many programs of sustained voluntary service that Lafayette students conduct each year under the auspices of the College’s Landis Community Outreach Center. She is president of Lafayette’s Gymnastics Club.

Categorized in: Academic News