Juried student art exhibition opens in UNO gallery
Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 09:03
UNO’s annual student art exhibition showcases the best art produced by 40 students majoring in studio art. On display are many different media ranging from printmaking to sculpture to jewelry.
The show is juried, meaning that a juror must select the student’s art to be placed in the show. To avoid bias, the gallery committee chooses an outside juror each year. This year they chose artist and teacher Mike Girón. Girón is an art educator at Metro Community College and Bellevue University. After the call for entries, he chose 71 works of art to be placed in the show, from almost 200 that were submitted.
“It’s always great to be recognized for something you have put a lot of effort into,” said Phylip Thomas, a student whose work is exhibited. “While some juried shows can become quite competitive, I’ve never viewed art as a competition. It’s great to have the exposure and to know that people appreciate your work. There is a lot of great work coming out of the art department, so it’s awesome to know your work stands out.”
Girón also decided which artists get different scholarship awards, which are specifically designated for art students. The money for these prizes comes from different funds, such as the Friends of Art scholarship which is $500. Several artists were given awards, which are directly applied to their tuition.
The top prizes were awarded to Gabriella Quiroz for her pencil drawings and Robert Cook for his encaustic pieces, which are a form of hot wax paintings.
To be considered for the show, the student must be working toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree or Bachelor of Studio Art degree. The student must also be enrolled in at least six credits of undergraduate studio art classes. All pieces must be produced through a UNO course and made in the last academic year.
“I think it is a really great experience,” said Professor Bonnie O’Connell, member of the gallery committee, “For many of them, it’s the first time they have their art in a show and seen in a formal setting.”
Each artist gains respect by being in the show and a step toward becoming a professional artist.
O’Connell said that being a part of the show gives the students opportunities to refine and develop their pieces even more. The show makes them push their work, take risks and take an extra step.
The student art show is important for beginning art students as well. Many art professors show their classes the exhibit to illustrate what those students could eventually be doing.
It familiarizes beginning students with different media and styles of art.
“I think the student art show stunned me more than anything,” said Cassidy Holber, an art student who visited the show.
“The range of talent that I saw was pretty much amazing. The different media explorations were interesting. All in all, I think the kids that were chosen to have pieces have a pretty great array of talent and should feel super good about their futures.”
The show ends March 28. The Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Weber Fine Arts Building on UNO’s Dodge Street Campus. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday.