By Madison Petro
Student artists were recognized for their work during the Annual Juried Exhibition reception at the Madelon Powers Gallery last Thursday afternoon.
This exhibition is hosted by the Student Art Association and is open for any ESU student to submit artwork for display and awards.
“This gives students a chance to show off their work and skills,” said Evelyn Barone, president of the Student Art Association. “Which is not only good for their resumes, but they also get to exhibit their work.”
During the reception, students, artists, community members and artists’ family members visited the exhibition. Some people walked around admiring the artwork and left shortly after, while others stayed for the entire reception and the announcement of winners.
Tamir Cousins-Ali, sophomore musical theater major, said he and a few of his friends noticed the event happening when he walked into Fine Arts and decided to see what it was all about.
“My favorite one is the little knight over there. It has soft features,” said Cousins-Ali about a blue painting on display among other blue paintings on the same wall.
“It’s amazing to see the different expressions and perspectives of art,” said Alyssa Canone, freshman athletic training major, who came to support her friend and artist, Chelsea Bacon. Canone said that she does not often attend art exhibitions, but hopes to attend more in the future thanks to her friend.
Cathy Bacon, Chelsea Bacon’s mother, also said that she does not often attend art exhibitions, but thanks to her daughter, she hopes to attend more, as well.
“I think it’s unbelievable. I am in awe,” said Bacon of the artwork. “I cannot believe how good these kids are.”
Certificates and cash prizes were awarded for first, second and third places, as well as Best in Show and Best in 3D. Four Honorable Mentions were also awarded with certificates.
Stephen Washington, a local artist who previously displayed his artwork in the Madelon Powers Gallery chose and announced the first, second and third place winners, and Best in 3D.
Washington explained that he chose the winning pieces subjectively, based on which pieces spoke to him. He said that the winners he chose might not have been the winners another judge would have chosen. While judging the pieces, he was not told who the artists were.
Washington announced the Honorable Mentions first: Arianna Kesler for her “Untitled” piece, Kevin Wimmer for “Ascend,” Laura Hatch for “Broken” and Karen Raptakis for “Landscape.”
Washington then announced third place: Sean Smith for “Madonna and Revenge of the Storm Pooper,” a 3D printed piece featuring multiple pop culture references.
While announcing each winner, Washington stood near the winning artworks and explained why he chose each piece.
He said he chose Smith’s piece because of his own fascination with technology.
Washington spoke about the importance of art in a world full of growing technology, in relation to Smith’s artwork.
Kevin Wimmer was awarded second place for his glass, steel and copper piece titled “Platter.”
Washington said he chose this piece because he loves the experimentation and is fascinated by the little bubbles in the artwork.
“It’s experimentation and the risk of failure where we learn about our art,” Washington added while praising Wimmer’s artwork.
Devin Kagel won first place for her acrylic painting titled “Dimples.”
“The artist has a strong connection to the subject, so the audience connects too,” said Washington of Kagel’s work.
“There’s a subtle use of paint. The process used here allows me to see the details,” he added.
Washington announced Alyssa Gonzalez’s 3D printed piece “Gavel and Slammer” as Best in 3D for its “ability to exist in various scales.”
President Welsh chose the Best in Show piece, and announced Gonzalez’s “Gavel and Slammer” as the winner.
“For today’s world, I think this was a perfect choice,” said Welsh, relating Gonzalez’s piece to the Supreme Court and the need for creativity in the world and at ESU during our current government situation. “We’re really pushing the concept of being creative in the strategic plan at ESU.”
“I wanted to do something that had meaning. Whenever we make something, we have to make it with a bang, a meaning,” said Gonzalez, sophomore art and design major. “And I made a piece that makes a literal bang: the gavel. I even designed it to make the actual sound when you slam it.”
Much of the artwork on display started as class projects for the student artists.
For Kristina Turturiello, junior art and design major, her piece titled “Doug and Squeak” started out as doodles.
“‘Doug and Squeak’ are just sketches that I’ve been working on over the semester,” said Turturiello. “I left them in the classroom and kept hiding them. I’m hoping to do them on a more campus-wide scale in the future.”
The Exhibition will continue in the Madelon Powers Gallery at Fine Arts until April 7.
Gallery hours are Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information about the exhibition, email email@example.com or call 570-422-3483.
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