UF art faculty and students primed for the Student Art & Design Exhibition

By: Lauren Wolters

woltersl1@findlay.edu

The University of Findlay’s Juried Art Show is back after being cancelled last year

This year’s Juried Art Gallery showcases the wide array of talent among University of Findlay student artists.

The gallery will be on display in the Lea Gallery of the Virginia B. Gardner Fine Arts Pavilion from April 6 through April 29. Everything is open to the public. The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. No appointment is needed to stop by the gallery.

Each student can submit work—up to three pieces per category—from a UF art class or their own independent work to be considered for the show.

Spencer Cunningham. Credit: Leah Alsept

This year the gallery will hold about 76 pieces of student art out of the 154 submitted pieces. Spencer Cunningham, Instructor of Teaching in Art and the Lea Gallery Director, sets up the artwork in the gallery each year. He usually allows two weeks to complete the task.

“It’s interesting before you start you think, how am I going to hang 76 pieces and make them look right so that you can see everyone?” Cunningham said. “You know you want to be able to see every piece. Every piece needs to have its day and be able to be seen, so it can be a bit daunting to think about it, but once I get started it just is fun.”

 UF art faculty decide which of the submitted pieces to feature in the show. A piece usually needs three votes to make it into the show.

“Which it’s a nice way of doing it, I think,” Cunningham said. “And then we invite somebody from the outside, different people every year to do the awards, first place in every category, best of show, any honorable mentions,” Cunningham said.

Amy Correl is the outside judge this year. She’s worked at the Contemporary Museum for Art in Chicago about 15 years. Correl selected the winners already, but the information will not be disclosed until the awards banquet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 15. The awards banquet attendance will be limited to invite-only. The students in the show and their immediate families will be permitted to attend. Cunningham and the art faculty plan to live stream the banquet too.

 Haley Kalb, a junior art education major, had one piece featured in the art show her freshman year; the show was cancelled her sophomore year. She was very excited to have many pieces featured in this year’s show. Kalb shared how being selected for the show helps UF students.

Haley Kalb amongst one of her artworks. Credit: Leah Alsept

“It allows students to showcase their skills and hard work and brings a greater appreciation for the arts,” Kalb said. It also is an honor to get your work in the show, so many students feel a newfound sense of pride by having work displayed in a real gallery.”

Some of the art on display is for sale. Cunningham explained that the artists receive all the profit if one of their pieces sell. The works for sale are listed in the show’s printed programs.

“Every artist has a resume, a list that lists shows you’ve been in, so it’s really helpful to be in a show,” Cunningham said. “It’s another listing, if you won an award, you know that’s helpful, and it’s personally encouraging,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham explained that juried shows are “both wonderfully and terribly subjective,” because the selection of the art to feature depends on who is in the jury.

“My advice to artists is to create for yourself, if you like it somebody else will like it,” Cunningham said.

The Juried Art Show was cancelled last year by the Art Department. UF closed shortly before the gallery usually occurred. Because of this, faculty accepted work from last year and this year to be considered for the show.

Even with the extra pieces from last year, the gallery saw a few less submissions than previous years. Cunningham said that in years past they’ve had nearly 100 pieces on display for the show. There is never a limit on the number of works they take for the display.

“It kind of emerges organically out of the work itself,” Cunningham said.

In total, Kalb will have eight of her pieces featured: three drawings; two paintings, one displayed in the student show and one displayed in the Cave; two prints; and a photo.

“My favorite of my pieces in the show is an oil painting of eggs on a skillet entitled ‘Going in Circles.’ Painting it made me fall in love with oil paints and really just art in general. It was my first painting I did in an art class and I just felt like I was where I belonged,” Kalb said.

Photo credit: Leah Alsept

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