Artist Spotlight: Linnea Goold glows

by Kelli Hennessey

Senior Linnea Goold did not come to Whitworth intending to be an artist. Rather, it was something that she fell into.

“I actually didn’t do any art before college,” Goold said. “I started as a psych major, and then I took one art class my first semester here … I’m still very involved in the psychology department; I would really like to go into art therapy.”

Goold said she believes that art and psychology have strong ties and sees art as an important resource to use in the field of psychology. Her own pieces reflect the way that art can influence the feelings of both the artist and the viewer. The piece she is working on now, which will be featured in her senior show this week, is a large installation that involves using string to web found car doors into a web-like structure, was inspired by recurring dreams she had as a child.

“That’s kind of where this all stemmed from … I love seeing how art can psychologically impact me, and others, so I wanted to see what it would be like to work through those dreams in this way,” Goold said.

Although this particular work is based on her dreams, Goold wants viewers to be able to take their own impressions from the piece. Goold wants her art to be accessible and interpretive, so even when the pieces have personal histories relevant to her life, she wants viewers to take from the piece their own interpretations, she said.

“It’s not all about me,” she said.

Goold plans on taking her passions for art and psychology into the community and working as an art therapist, though she does also want to explore participating in gallery shows at some point. She is interested primarily in working with youth and adolescents. She believes that art has the power to help individuals overcome trauma and wants to participate in that process.

“I also have become a lot more interested in the past year in prevention and how art can be used to help people handle emotions in a different way or express themselves in a more healthy way,” Goold says.

Though she has largely worked with organic materials such as branches or tumbleweeds in her other pieces, Goold experiments with a variety of objects, such as the car doors in her current work.

“I do like found objects; I like things that have a history to them,” Goold said.

Though now her preferred media are sculpture and installation work, Goold did not find her love for it initially. It was not until halfway through her studies that she became interested in the work. Initially, Goold said, she was under the common misconception that art majors should be painters and illustrators. Taking a class in three-dimensional design, however, drew her to sculpture and other forms of three-dimensional design.

“Three-dimensional art just really comes to life for me, and I love taking something in my head and seeing it turn into something big and three-dimensional in the real world,” Goold said.

Her current installation, which incorporates several car doors borrowed from a local junkyard and thousands of feet of string, has been something that Goold has been planning for two years. She said that lecturer Rob Fifield has told her that art is about posing a problem and fixing it, and she agrees. For this project, she faces the challenge of broken string and how to mount heavy metal doors, temporarily, to gallery walls.

That is part of what draws her to art—the ability to work through challenges and grow from the process. By combining her passion of art with love of psychology, Goold hopes to help others work through their personal challenges through exploring the power art holds.

The senior art show featuring Goold, as well as several other graduating art majors, opens on Tuesday, April 14 in the Bryan Oliver Gallery in the Lied Art Center and will close on May 16.

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