The annual Juried Student Art Exhibition is currently on display in the Student Union Gallery; in it are the 26 favorites as chosen by this year’s juror, Chad Carpenter.
Carpenter, the creator and artist of Tundra comics, was tasked with choosing what he considered to be the best works out of the over 70 submissions, a task he said wasn’t easy.
“I think I did a pretty good job getting the ones I thought would best fit what I was looking for, but it was tough,” he said. “You get anybody doing what I did, and you’re going to get 26 different answers. It’s difficult because I don’t want any of the artists to think that what I say actually matters. It’s just one man’s opinion.”
The pieces that made it into the show are diverse in every sense of the term. There are ceramic and found object sculptures, watercolor and oil paintings, drawings, jewelry, and even a piece crocheted in yarn. Each piece that appears in the show was considered for further recognition through juror awards. The categories were Best of Show, Juror’s Choice, the Zane Olson Memorial Award and the Honorable Mentions. In addition to these awards, there were also faculty-donated awards for Best of Ceramic, Best of Drawing, Best of Painting, Best of Printmaking, Best of Sculpture, Best of Watercolor and another called Out of the Box, Impeccably.
Carpenter selected all the pieces to be honored with these awards as well.
“Being the juror in this, the people who are goofy and silly with their artwork, they’re going to attract me more, because that’s what I do for a living. That’s not the only reason I chose what I chose, but it is one of the reasons,” he said.
Christopher Judd, a fine arts senior with an emphasis in drawing and painting, was awarded Best of Drawing for his piece “Model #5,” and Best of Painting with “Hell’s Angel.”
“I thought I might have both, but I wasn’t sure,” said Judd. “Stephanie Novak’s piece, I thought hers might, it was going to be me or her for drawing. Hers is awesome.”
“Model #5” was originally one of Judd’s midterm assignments, and took two days to complete. “Hell’s Angel” took much longer.
“It took me a while; most of the work for that was being done two weeks before the show,” he said, “but I’d started it a few months ago.”
English alum and art senior Julie Rychetnik was awarded both the Zane Olson Memorial award and Best of Sculpture for her piece “Technology Bound.” The piece consists of a Mac monitor shell and both Mac and Dell keyboard keys, which are arranged to resemble a face protruding from the monitor.
“Something that really struck me is how we really are bound by technology. I was really thinking about it this one night that I was working on a piece and the electricity went out,” she said. “All of a sudden there’s just this silence, and you feel strange about it because you can’t use the TV or your computer. It’s just funny how much technology really controls us.”
Unlike Judd, who was moderately confident that he’d won at least one award after a friend of his from the inside hinted strongly at the possibility, Rychetnik was both surprised and honored by even making it into the show.
“I was extremely surprised. When I went to Chad Carpenter’s speech the other day, and they said that only 26 pieces out of 78 were chosen to represent the show, I figured I wasn’t even in the show,” she said. “Just to be put in the show and then to win these two awards, it’s a huge honor. I can’t believe I was given that, and I really do appreciate it.”
Full List of awards:
Best of Show: Xenia Vleiger, “I Wouldn’t Want to Live in the Ocean Either”
Juror’s Choice: Devry Birdsell, “Serotonin”; Tanya Stowel, “My Lunch”
Honorable Mentions: Bill Jamison, “Friends Forever”; Susanna Lloyd, “My Catch All”; Julia Stutzer, “Night Monkeys”
Zane Olson Memorial Award: Julie Rychetnik, “Technology Bound”
Best of Ceramic Media: Devry Birdsell, “Serotonin”
Best of Drawing: Christopher Judd, “Model #5″
Best of Painting: Christopher Judd, “Hell’s Angel”
Best of Printmaking: Jay Baldwin, “Portrait of Samuel Beckett”
Best of Sculpture: Julie Rychetnik, “Technology Bound”
Best of Watercolor: Shelley J. Giraldo, “Leda”
Out of the Box, Impeccably: Xenia Vleiger, “I Wouldn’t Want to Live in the Ocean Either”
The Juried Student Art Exhibition runs in the Student Union Gallery until Thursday, May 3.