Each semester since spring 2012, UAA art professors have chosen one student per class to show in the annual 2-D and 3-D Invitational show in the Student Union Gallery.
The invitational features art from students who have demonstrated advanced levels of skill in their classes.
“This is high quality. It’s student work, but at the same time it’s at a really high level,” Garry Mealor, art and watercolor professor, said.
This year’s participant limit is lower than previous years, which increased the level of competition to get in.
“It’s hard,” Mealor said. “There are so many other people who could be in this show.”
Printmaking professor Garry Kaulitz agreed.
“I’m always amazed at the students,” Kaulitz said. “I’m blown away by what they do.”
Not only were students chosen for the show, but specific pieces of work they completed were chosen for entry, as well. Each professor used individual criteria for selecting the pieces, but both Kaulitz and Mealor had one thing in common when making their choices.
“It’s not just the piece that is in the show, it’s the quality of work that they’ve been doing over the semester. Students who have been consistently at a high level,” Mealor said. “Not someone who all of a sudden just got this really great piece.”
While many of the students in the invitational have been in other gallery shows, the experience isn’t any less important.
“It means a lot, because it means that your professor feels that your work is one of the top in the class,” Stephanie Novak, fine arts senior with an emphasis in printmaking, said. “That speaks something to your ability, but it also says that all the work you put into it paid off.”
Her piece, “Value Village Still Life,” was originally a printmaking assignment that had to incorporate three elements: glass, metal and wood. She used watercolors for the first layer of the piece, then finished the top layer with colored pencils. The ultimate goal of the piece was to showcase the different textures of the required elements.
“It was for rendering, so basically it had to be as realistic as possible,” she said.
Rachel Lee, a senior art major emphasizing in photography, has only been seriously interested in photography for roughly two years. One of her digital photography assignments from the beginning of this semester, “The Music Within,” is being shown in the invitational.
“I haven’t been in many shows; I’m pretty novice to this whole thing,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”
“The Music Within” was created for a self-portrait assignment. Lee created a skirt of sheet music and used a timer to take a photo of herself in a dance pose. She later altered the image in Photoshop to incorporate various textures.
“I’m a huge fan of music. It’s always been a huge part of my life. I love to sing as well, but I won’t ever let anyone hear me sing,” Lee said. “I decided to explore that part of myself in this piece.”
The 2-D and 3-D Invitational features artists that have shown exemplary work, and Novak believes that students can learn a few things by walking through.
“That shows you what you learn here,” she said. “Going to a show like this, where it’s just assignments, shows what you could learn if you chose to not only pursue art, but just take an art class.”
The 2-D and 3-D Invitational will be showing in the Student Union Gallery during regular gallery hours until Thursday, April 4.