Art students display work at annual exhibition

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For the 2022 Annual Juried Student Exhibition, art and design work by over 50 University of Indianapolis students has been put on display in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery. The work displayed includes pottery, paintings, graphic designs, needlework and more. The reception and award ceremony took place on April 11, where Art & Design Department Awards and Juried Student Exhibition Awards were presented. The Juried awards are selected by two anonymous jurors that are professionals in their fields, according to Assistant Professor in the Department of Art & Design Sarah Pfohl.

The exhibition, Pfohl said, is planned by a committee that she is on with Assistant Professor in the Department of Art & Design Nathaniel Foley and Associate Professor in the Department of Art & Design Katherine J. Fries. All of the faculty in the Department of Art & Design helped in some way and some students volunteered as well, according to Pfohl. Gallery Coordinator for the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center and Adjunct Faculty member Mark Ruschman and his ART 475: Gallery Studies class set up the gallery and hung the students’ work, Pfohl said.

Foley said he enjoyed being able to celebrate the students and their work at the exhibition after the event’s three year hiatus from having an in-person gallery due to COVID-19. He said the department was able to come back together as a community to celebrate the work they have all been able to do.

Photo by Kiara Conley The Annual Juried Student Exhibition includes work from over 50 Art & Design students. The exhibition allowed students to win different awards for their artwork on April 11.

“[I enjoy] just being able to see all the work, see all the students, see the students’ families come in—to be able to just celebrate them and be able to show off what they’ve done,” Foley said.

Sophomore visual communication design major Alyssa Todd won the Best of Show: Visual Communication Design award for her work titled “4-Cultural Stamps,” as well as an Indiana Artist-Craftsman Award. Todd said she had submitted graphic design pieces for awards last year that were not accepted, but she decided to submit new pieces again this year because she felt more confident in her work.

Todd said her mom, dad, uncle and best friend attended the reception and award ceremony with her. At first, she said she was not sure that she wanted her family to come to the event because it was a long drive and she thought she would not win any awards. However, having them there to see her work and watch her receive the awards was a really good feeling and something she would never forget, she said.

“I feel like it’s [the exhibition] definitely a good opportunity to get your work out there.… It’s a good feeling, knowing people want to come see your work,” Todd said.

According to Foley, it is important for students to see each other’s work in a professional setting. He said it gives students the opportunity to practice submitting their work in a digital format, which is what they will be expected to do in the professional world. Students also learn how to prepare their work to be displayed and make sure it is exhibition ready, he said.

“That’s one of our functions as being artists, to share voices, share experience, and be able to provide that to our campus community,” Foley said. “[It is important] being able to show off, wave our flag and be able to show that to the campus,
and have fun and be able to enjoy it.”

The exhibition provides students with the experience of submitting work to jurors and being accepted or rejected, according to Pfohl. She said that the ceremony is a great opportunity to celebrate students and what they have created. 

“It was really nice to see how many family and friends came to support our students, and how many students were there to see their own work and their peers’ work,” Pfohl said. “It’s celebratory and it’s kind of like a community experience. It’s sort of how we round out the year.”

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