The President’s Eleventh Annual Art Show displayed 58 pieces from both students and alumni in the Brent and Jean Wadsworth Family Gallery from April 4 to 26. Out of those who submitted, three winners and eight honorable mentions each won a sum divided from the $1,000 donated by President Dr. David Livingston. Works on display showcased pieces from 25 current students and six alumni.
Students who submitted art could choose any piece they made during high school or throughout their college careers. While alumni could submit work to be displayed in the show, they were not eligible to win an award. Current students from any major could submit work to be judged.
“We had quite a few nursing students this year who submitted work,” said Gallery Coordinator Natalie Swain. “Anyone who might be interested in photography on the side or do it for a hobby could submit. We’ve had many shows where a nursing or biology major will even win an honorable mention.”
Faculty members of the art and design department selected pieces for the show out of 103 submissions. After judging the subject, form and content of the art, they selected freshman illustration major Rachel Fosler as first place, junior computer science major Nate Stratton as second place and senior general studio art and psychology major Shannon Washburn as third place winners.
Fosler, who submitted a wax and eggshell sculpture titled “The Egg King Reaches Out,” said “it was incredible” to learn she had won first place. Pulling inspiration from an eggshell broken vertically, she acted on her creativity by using a plastic bottle and twigs to form the body of the sculpture before covering it in wax. Fosler then finished her piece by painting the body and face.
Stratton’s oil on panel painting titled “My Friend Eric” was based on a photograph he had taken. “I was surprised and very grateful to learn I had placed,” said Stratton. “This is the only piece of the semester for which I used a picture. I didn’t really plan it out, but I like how it turned out.”
Washburn’s charcoal drawing, “Seeking Solace,” was one of 15 pieces, each of which she had spent 15 to 20 hours working on, in her portfolio for a graduate application to Adler University. Depicting two hands reaching for each other, one of which is bandaged, Washburn said, “I work with people who cannot verbally say what they're thinking. Solace is when you’re looking for comfort in a time of distress.” Washburn had two other pieces in the show.
A gallery talk at the Celebration of Scholarship on April 11 allowed for first, second and third place winners and honorable mentions to elaborate on the story behind their pieces. The discussion began with remarks from Art and Design Chair Mark Swain.
“We have a skill base that we learn on our own or in class,” said Mark Swain. We have transferable knowledge. We have experiences that we can transfer over into art. It’s a learning process every time.”
The President’s Art Show Reception and Awards Ceremony allowed for Mark Swain and Livingston to present a check to each student who had placed in the show on April 25. Honorable mentions included sophomore graphic design major Vanessa Arenas, senior general studio art major Briana Barth, senior psychology and general studio art major Ellen Kientop, senior psychology major Kaitlyn Ramsey, senior painting and mathematics major Eli Samoska, senior graphic design major Elisabeth Sommerville, junior general studio art major Hanna Swanberg and junior graphic design and general studio art major Julianna Walen.
“When we look at an art piece, we can be bound together,” said Livingston. “I want to be grateful to all of those who submitted a piece, and congratulate those who have won.”
The reception and awards ceremony was well-attended, as it is one of the most esteemed shows throughout the year. The President’s Art Show was the 60th show in the Brent and Jean Wadsworth Family Gallery in six years.