Art students hard work pays off

Student Art and Design Exhibition recognizes various pieces

By: Heidi Paxson

The annual Student Art and Design Exhibition award ceremony was hosted by The University of Findlay’s Art Department on April 18. The purpose of the reception was to showcase the best of UF students’ various art pieces.

UF Instructor of Art, Spencer Cunningham, says planning for the event started about two months ago.

Cunningham days he enjoys looking at the students’ work more than he does professional photographs.

“As the Gallery Director, it is my job to arrange the pieces,” says Cunningham.

The art pieces are arranged by themes that fill up the Mazza Museum walls. One of the themes revolves around the 19th century writer, Edgar Allen Poe. The pieces are not as bright as some of the other photos and paintings that surround the mysterious display.

Cunningham says that there are more than 300 submissions every year but only about 100 can be chosen. He compares arranging the displays to putting together 94 different puzzle pieces.

Art pieces chosen for this event in previous years have been included in national photography magazines such as the Photographer’s Forum.

He says that about three to four UF students get Best of Show in various exhibitions every year.

Student Art and Design Exhibition Best of Show winner, Xiaoting Qui, says that she never realized her passion for photography until November 2015.

She describes her award winning photograph as a happy accident. Qui passed the tree featured in her photograph and randomly decided to take picture, when she realized how great the picture was.

An international artist, Jordan Buschur was featured at the event, networking with and congratulating students.

“I was impressed by the artwork with high levels of craft and/ or a strong individual voice,” Buschur states in her judges statement. 

The pieces did not only consist of paintings and photographs. They also included sculptures, film photography, visual communication, printmaking, and other various categories.

The pieces of art can be purchased from the Lea Gallery. Anyone interested can contact Spencer Cunningham at

All of the Mazza Museum exhibitions are free and open to the public.

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