Student artwork was cast in the spotlight during this year’s Juried Student Exhibition. Although the opening reception and award ceremony took place on Saturday, Feb. 27, the Exhibition will remain open for viewing until March 24.
The Juried Student Exhibition is an annual event on the AU campus that allows students in the visual communication major to showcase their hard work to their peers and professional artists as well as the general public. Students who participate were also given the opportunity to receive feedback and constructive criticism from a professional on their submitted pieces.
“For students involved in the visual communication department, this is an excellent way to get their work out there and to enter the professional design scene,” said Tai Lipan, the director of the Wilson Galleries on campus.
Any student in the department was allowed to submit their artwork to this year’s Juried Exhibition. Students could submit up to five pieces of their original artwork to be judged by this year’s invited juror, Helen Sanematsu. Sanematsu was tasked with hand-picking the submissions that were to be displayed at the Exhibition. She then distributed awards to the most outstanding works in each specific area of study and the overall Best in Show.
The displayed artwork is representative of many different styles and themes, as one of the purposes of the Exhibition is to demonstrate the grand scope of creativity and concentrations of study within the visual communication major. The work chosen to be displayed this year ranges from 3D art to drawings and even magazine layout designs.
Since 2010, the Wilson Galleries have invited each year’s guest juror to display his or her own artwork in conjunction with the students’ work. The featured juror’s gallery helps to familiarize gallery guests and students with the juror’s artistic style and how it is reflected in the work chosen to be featured in the Juried Student Exhibition.
Sanematsu’s exhibit is titled “Research Jam: A Taste of How Design is Improving Community Health in Indiana.” The exhibit demonstrates how design can be used to form a better understanding of how people live and how those lifestyles can be improved. The exhibit is a reflection of Sanematsu’s professional efforts to create research methods that promote better health for the Indiana University School of Medicine as well as the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, a nation-wide initiative for health research and application. Including large whiteboards, images and graphs, Sanematsu’s exhibit encourages visitors to get involved and to participate themselves.
In addition to receiving feedback on their artwork, one of the major benefits students gain from participating in the Juried Exhibition is the interactive nature of the event. Students who attended the opening reception were given the opportunity to speak to Sanematsu about her professional work and the field of design in general.
“Because the guest jurors invited to the Exhibition are regional professionals, they can be an excellent connecting point for students,” said Tai Lipan. “Each year’s jurors have been very generous with their advice and contact information. In the past, interaction with the jurors has even lead to professional internships for some students.”
Although the Juried Exhibition is competitive, students who did not receive awards this year could benefit from the opportunity to network with Sanematsu and other gallery visitors. In addition, Lipan mentioned that having artwork featured in a gallery setting is an impressive addition to the resume of an aspiring artist or designer.
Those who attended the opening reception and awards ceremony were also invited to listen to Sanematsu’s gallery talk on Saturday afternoon to hear her personal perspective on the pieces displayed in the Exhibition and her own professional work. Admission to the gallery talk and Exhibition was completely free of charge and open to anyone interested in attending.
All are encouraged to view the Exhibition while it remains open. It will be open and free to attend until March 24 in the Wilson Galleries on the second floor of the Fine Arts building.
“Even if you are not an artist yourself or involved in the visual communication major, I still encourage you to attend,” said Lipan. “It is a great opportunity to see the work your peers are doing and the fantastic artistic talent we have on campus.