Malachi Ward's Art Show

by Katelyn Noll '07

Malachi Ward’s Art Show, an exhibit including more than 30 pieces of art, opened on Monday, March 6. The opening reception was held on Tuesday, March 7 and the show will be open in the Art Gallery on West Campus until Friday, March 17.

The show’s pieces depict surreal characters, dragons, knights, and other creatures that seem to come from a child’s imagination, but show insightful reflections of human nature. Ward worked on ideas for this show since September 2005, developing the concept and pieces since January.

“It’s great to see his own work,” said Malachi's mother, Melissa Ward. In the past, Malachi has held shows in collaboration with other artists. This is his first solo exhibition since his sophomore year.

Melissa remembered that Malachi loved listening to stories since he was a young child. “You couldn’t tell him enough stories,” she said. He was also a story-teller. “He was always the hero,” said Melissa.

Malachi displayed sketchbooks that were made when he was about five years old. Because he could barely write, he dictated stories for his mother to write down for him, and then he illustrated the books.

One book told a story about a shark that protected coral; another was about a dinosaur and his friend who was an artist. At the story's conclusion, the artist has to say goodbye because he is going to go have an art show. At the end of the book, Ward had his mother write this disclaimer: “These stories are all make-believe. Man didn't live with the dinosaurs, and sharks probably couldn't protect the coral.” Ward also wrote a series of stories about “the furry detective,” a creature that was covered with fur and had “robot arms that could reach really far.”

One of Ward’s favorite pieces is “Knock it Off!” because it is one to which he relates the most. It is a painting of a male character with a white figure, the Holy Spirit, wrapping around it. The Spirit’s words, “knock it off,” appear in the background.