Senior art major showcases tattoos as art in campus exhibit

Feb 03, 2015

North Central College presents the solo exhibition “Potentially Permanent,” featuring the artwork of senior Jenna Szerszen Feb. 5 through March 1.

A collection of mixed media, drawings and paintings, “Potentially Permanent” showcases the artist’s avid research and interest in the simplistic designs of the traditional tattoo style. The free exhibit is on display in the College’s Meiley-Swallow Hall Gallery, 31 S. Ellsworth St. An artist’s reception will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, in the gallery; light refreshments will be served.

Szerszen’s work focuses on the simplicity of color, cleanliness and display designs of tattoos as an art. The combination of bold lines and starch white surface not only makes her pieces vibrant, but also creates an interest in the clear and clean technical qualities of her work.

“I have always been interested in the clean lines of tattoo designs,” says Szerszen. “The idea of permanency—decorating the body and making beautiful pieces of art—has always grabbed my attention. Even though ink on paper is not permanent, the meaning and clean style are unforgettable.”

Szerszen, a resident of South Elgin, is majoring in studio art with a minor in art history. She has earned scholarships for her artwork and is currently working on an independent study that develops her knowledge of different forms of media and techniques. She uses her work to portray a variety of themes, from subcultural self-expression to her own family history. With a wide background in artistic expression, from photography to sculpture, Szerszen is pushing to refine her skill set and define herself and place as an artist.  

Christine Rabenold, associate professor of art, is faculty advisor for the exhibit. For more information about the exhibit or gallery hours, contact Rabenold at 630-637-5543 or

Art students at North Central College learn traditional and contemporary media; engage in analytical, critical and abstract thinking; and learn to communicate ideas visually. Students attend gallery and museum openings and exhibits in Naperville and Chicago, meet visiting artists, enter juried exhibitions and gain an academic foundation for graduate study in studio art, art education, art history, art therapy, arts administration, art criticism and visual communications. Visit to learn more about North Central’s art program.