Senior artist profile series: Lindsay Freter ’15

Each year in May, The Colby Museum of Art hosts the Senior Art Show, an exhibition featuring works by senior students ranging a variety of mediums, including photography, sculpture, printmaking and painting. In the weeks leading up to the opening on May 7th, the Echo will feature each artist, showcasing their work and speaking to them about their personal inspirations and processes.

This week we are featuring Lindsay Freter ’15 from Scituate, MA. She is a frequent contributor for the Echo and has been singing on the Colbyettes since her freshman year. Freter is a photographer and is particularly inspired by the highly stylized images of fashion photography over more organic processes. “I really do just love taking photographs, especially photographs where I completely make up the scene,” she said. “I love going out and ‘finding’ pictures, but there’s something I love about making every aspect up.”

For the Senior Art Show, Freter looked toward a variety of recent advertising campaigns, in particular those of Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu, as reference points for composition and styling. “They’re always kind of out there and the models look so awkward but like they don’t give a crap, which I love….The colors are gorgeous. The models have like a ‘so what’ attitude.” She continued, “The thing about these ads is that they are so unrealistic (in several ways) but have ties to the real world— like how they’re taken in domestic settings and use everyday objects as props. This is where a lot of people take up issue with the fashion industry. However, I love the unrealistic aspect in the sense that they make you think ‘what is happening here?’ which is what makes the photographs so compelling to me.”

In composing a photo, Freter chooses to focus more on visual aesthetics over underlying narratives. “Nothing is supposed to make sense or even be symbolic. They’re mainly color and composition driven. I’ve been setting things up however I feel is right in the moment. It’s meant to look like a fake and man-made world. I just want people to be like ‘what?’ and see the pictures for how they are” she said. For Frater, design elements and objects from the past are frequent sources of inspiration. Her choices in color are rooted in the kitsch and tack of 1970s interior design, which she admires for being “vibrant, saturated, kind of ugly, but fabulous at the same time.”

In the past, Freter has photographed the Fairfield Antique Mall, and worked on a collaborative project exploring how individuals interact with space while abroad in London last year. This project was a particular challenge as it was a departure of her traditional work. “I pretty much felt like a chicken running around London with its head cut off for six months trying to explain to our (what they call teachers) tutors what our project meant. It was possibly the most stressful school -related work I’ve ever done. But it ended up being really fun and satisfying,”she said. As for the photos themselves, they were “stark and of empty looking parts of places I had stayed during my time abroad. Each photograph was supposed to look common enough that people would be reminded of home.”

After Colby, Freter would like to work in the creative department of a fashion magazine or brand, working as a creative director or a fashion editor. However, she says that this is “a long way down the road.”

Come see Freter’s photos alongside the works of the seven other artists who will be  featured in the Senior Art Show, beginning on May 7 at the Museum of Art.

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