Aesthetic talents unveiled at juried student art exhibit

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Aesthetic talents unveiled at juried student art exhibit

Polly Rittenberg

Polly Rittenberg

Polly Rittenberg

Oil portraits of students in various states of undress, polyurethane face molds and geometric steel statues made their debut on Nov. 8 in the Founders Galleries during the opening of the annual Juried Student Art Exhibition.

Each year any student can submit artwork for this exhibition.

“Submission is voluntary and open to all Guilford students, not just art majors,” said Kathryn Shields, exhibition juror and assistant professor of art, in an email. “For that reason, seeing the work is very exciting for me and an opportunity that I look forward to every fall.”

Every professor in the Art Department serves as a juror, judging submissions for merit and deciding if they will be put in the show.

“We try to keep the number of works of art small so that what’s on the wall is of high quality,” said Adele Wayman, exhibition juror and Hege professor of Art. “Everything that we decide is by consensus, so sometimes there’s a bit of a tussle in deciding which art is chosen.”

Each piece of artwork is displayed alongside a placard with the work’s title, the artist’s name, the media used and a price if that particular piece is for sale.

During the opening, prizes were awarded for best artwork in each category as well as honorable mentions. Categories included ceramics, drawing, 2-D design, photography, printmaking, sculpture and painting.

Throughout the opening, attendees also voted for their favorite piece on display. The winner — senior Thomas Norbutt’s metal sculpture, “Thinking Outside the Box/Planned Random” —  received the Viewers’ Choice Award.

“I was really intimidated seeing my piece displayed beside all the works submitted by the art majors,” said accounting major and senior Andrew Parsons, whose “Self Portrait” done in plaster won honorable mention in ceramics. “I never imagined my work could be taken seriously by Guilford’s real artists. But hey, stranger things have happened, right?”

“This was the first time I had a piece in the show, and it felt great to take home first prize in sculpture,” said junior Adam Faust. “I love that we are able to show off our hard work and talent.”

This is also the first major exhibition done in the recently renovated Founders. Both artists and professors had mixed feelings about the space for the artwork.

“I think the show looks fabulous,” said Shields. “The space is very different, and it has some clear benefits along with new challenges. For example, the area where the atrium is now was a prime location for sculpture and ceramics, so we (had) to make some adjustments.”

“I miss the floor space we had for sculptures in the old space,” said Wayman. “And we still haven’t solved all the lighting problems, as there are painting in the corners that you can’t see as well due to the lighting. Hopefully, we can get track lighting installed next time.”

“I like the new space,” said senior Katie Maloney, who won honorable mention with two of her ceramic pieces, “Holey Vase” and “Frogs.” “It is a central space, and people can see that there is artwork.”

Despite space and lighting issues, Shields felt that it was a wonderful opening.

“The energy at the opening was really positive, and I’m super proud of our students,” said Shields.

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