The Annual Student Juried Art Exhibition, now on its 28th year, celebrates and showcases the art and talent of students not always seen in the public sphere. The event celebrates the talent of students from all disciplines, from the visual arts to international development, giving them the opportunity to show their work to the wider college community. “I really love the student show,” said Emily Friesen ‘17. “It’s exciting for the students because you’re professionally showing your work to a wider audience.” Friesen, who works as a gallery assistant, also stated the show is one of her favorites of the year because so many people attend in support of their friends and family members. “It’s lovely to see the gallery so full,” she said.
Assistant professor of art/printmaking and director of exhibitions at the Ortlip Art Gallery, Alicia Taylor, also expressed excitement at the Student Exhibition. She stated that the design stage before the show is one of her favorite parts, and said, “The space with blank white walls at the start of every exhibition design becomes my canvas, and the students’ work becomes the language that I’m tasked with bringing together to form visual statements. The goal of the exhibit as a whole is to take these statements and string them together with very intentional methods to create a story that viewers can experience when walking through the space.” Taylor has been managing the Ortlip Gallery Exhibitions for the last three years.
The actual selection process of the show is in some ways intensive. A juror is chosen to judge the art, and he or she focuses on the quality, craftsmanship, and concept of the submissions. The process is impartial, says Taylor, each student’s name remaining anonymous as the juror examines the work.
On the part of students accepted to the exhibition, there is a presiding feeling of affirmation of their artistic abilities. Ellen McCutcheon ‘18 said, “I’m honored to see my art in the show. It’s really affirming as an artist to see my work on display.” This is McCutcheon’s first year in the exhibition, accepted for her submission of a small piece she painted while studying abroad in Tanzania.
Hannah Banks ‘18, who has submitted work to the show every year, said that her favorite part of the exhibition is, “getting to see my fellow artists’ work and seeing it in a gallery setting…
I think the collective student work compliments each other well.” You can see Banks’, McCutcheon’s, and other students’ work tomorrow , March 18, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Many of the pieces are also available for purchase.