Guest Submission by Gary Rees
The 2016 Graceland University Department of Art Annual Juried Art Exhibition opened last Thursday, April 7th, in the Constance Gallery with the display of art and announcement of awards. The exhibition runs through April 22nd. “As teachers, we have a very real passion for the success of our students,” Karen Gergely, Assistant Professor of Art, said. “A juried art exhibition isn’t just an art competition. It’s an opportunity for students to show their talents and how much they’ve learned and appreciate just what it takes to be a successful artist.
The GU juried exhibition consists of art work submitted by students in designated categories that is judged by an individual or panel according to certain measures. Graceland students entered nearly 150 works in one of three categories: two dimensional art, sculpture, and graphic design. “We are really proud of the students – without them there is no show,” Gergely said. “They did a great job making quality work and preparing it for exhibition – which included framing, mounting, and otherwise getting their work ready to present.”
Artist-in-Residence Victor Cicansky served as the juror in this year’s competition. “Victor had the really tough challenge of narrowing the works down. He carefully looked at the craft, titles of the art work, and meanings in each,” Gergely said. “He tried to determine students who were taking risks in their medium – challenging what they consider to be the norm.”
Before announcing the awards, Julia Franklin, Graceland University Art Department Coordinator, explained who all of the donors were and how their contributions have positively impacted the department and the students. Cicansky selected Katelynn Tracy’s submission to receive the Best in Show award – the highest honor in this year’s completion. Other awards included: The Van Biber Honorable mention to Kyra Stevenson, and Cheyanne Johnsen, The Van Biber Photo award to Lydia Bendorf, the Wight Printmaking award to Brett Hall, the Wight Painting Honorable Mention to Nicole Snider, The Wright Painting award to Alison Lancelotti, the Wright Mixed Media Honorable Mention to Alyssa Dockins, The Wright Mixed Media award to Ashley Hayne, The Wright Drawing Honorable mention to Kyra Stevenson, the Wright Drawing Award to Evan Kisner, the Aaron Engle Ceramics Honorable mention to Alice Nelms, the Sundell Sculpture award to Cassidy Lynch, the Aaron Engle Ceramics Honorable Mention to Ryan Nilsen, the Aaron Engle Ceramics award to Stephanie Lane, the Van Biber Graphic Design Honorable Mention to Bre Claytor, and the Van Biber Graphic Design award to Evan Sloan.
“It is risky to enter a juried show. The artists are extremely vulnerable to a juror’s decisions and have no control over what goes into the judging their work,” Gergely said. “We hope the community will visit the Graceland University Department of Art’s 2016 Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition from April 7-22 in the Helene Center for the Visual Arts Constance Gallery on the Graceland University Campus to see how our student artist responded to this challenged – and shined.”
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