GVSU art department to host annual student art show

GVL / Courtesy - GVSU University Communications
Lauren Kohler (middle) and Sam Adamczyk (right) observe the 5th Annual Juried Art Show inside of the Calder Art Center.

GVSU University Communications

GVL / Courtesy – GVSU University Communications Lauren Kohler (middle) and Sam Adamczyk (right) observe the 5th Annual Juried Art Show inside of the Calder Art Center.

Carmen Smith

The Grand Valley State University art department will host the the 5th annual Juried Student Art Show Wednesday, Mar. 15. This talent-fueled celebration of student work will bring three professional art judges, all specializing in various mediums, to campus to help choose the winning pieces.

Finalists’ original works will be hung in the Padnos Art Gallery and the Grand Atrium in the Calder Art Center on the Allendale Campus. The show also includes an awards ceremony Wednesday, Mar. 22 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Padnos Student Gallery in the Calder Arts Center.

Each year, art students that are sophomore standing and above are invited to submit pieces of their choosing to the Juried Art Show. Students’ work must come from a non-foundation, non introductory level art class and can be entered through an online application, which will be open after spring break and close Wednesday, Mar. 15.

The show features work from 10 different categories including: ceramics, film and video, graphic design, illustration, jewelry and metalsmithing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and visual studies.

Each student who chooses to participate can submit up to three pieces of artwork that all fit in different categories. On average, the show receives upward of 300 submissions each year, and the judges’ goal is to whittle the final pieces down to around 10 from each category, showcasing a total of 100 student works for the show.

“We have a very strong program here with art and design, along with visual arts and communications. We want people to be able to see that,” said Jill Eggers, GVSU professor and director of the Padnos Art Gallery. “We also wanted to give students a forum for showing their work to each other, and for being recognized for what they do.”

Each year, the Juried Student Art Show committee chooses three distinguished artists–usually from Michigan or the West Michigan area–to judge the student artwork. They like to have a group of jurors, rather than just one juror, so there’s differing perspectives, opinions and artistic backgrounds.

This year’s judges include: Nate Abramowski (photo, film and video), Maureen Nollette (installation, drawing and sculpture) and Jenn Schaub, a GVSU distinguished alumna from the art department.

The judges will arrive at GVSU around 9 a.m. Thursday, March 16 to begin narrowing down the pieces. They have access to student art helpers and faculty from the art department to help make decisions. After they’ve decided which pieces make the cut, the judges collaborate on a written juror statement, due by the end of the day. The statement is a short reflection that sums up the quality of the work they looked at, and all of the criteria each piece met.

A list of the works that are accepted is sent out the winning students via email by Friday, March 17, and the final works are hung up by student volunteers and art department faculty that same day.

“I watch the faculty and the students when the work is hung up, and what’s great about it is that it’s a recognition that there is a lot of high quality work and a lot of high quality intellectual pursuits going on in relationship to the art and design department,” said Bill Hosterman, a GVSU art professor. “The students look (at the works) and they start to get a sense of standards and a goal. They get to see work that is something they try to envision that they can try to obtain in the future.”

At the awards ceremony, held Wednesday March 22, three purchase award winners will be announced. The purchase awards are granted to GVSU student artists for $300 each, and officially makes their work GVSU property to be displayed all across campus.

The last award, the faculty and staff award, is unique to the art and design department. Faculty and staff are asked to consider donating money to go toward this award. The student gets a cash prize, as well as an opportunity to keep their piece.

Eggers said that the awards ceremony is exciting because students really love being appreciated for what they do. Sometimes students are surprised to win an award and some make it their goal. It’s a really powerful and joyful moment for both students and faculty members.

“This show is a way for the different areas to co-mingle–to get together have time to share information, and that’s something that needs happen, but this university is a big community,” Hosterman said. “It’s a way for people to get together and see that we’re all kind of one big family trying to pursue a goal.”