OBU’s art club will be hosting the annual Student Juried Exhibit in the Mabee Hammons Gallery from April 17 through August 25. This is an opportunity for students from all over campus to submit their artistic works, which will go through an official critiquing process and possibly be hosted in the Exhibit. The winners will be announced at the reception held at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 17, in the Mabee Hammons Gallery. The exhibit is free and open to anyone from the public.
Summer Bruch, assistant professor of visual arts, said that the exhibit is a great opportunity for applicants to experience the professional side of being an artist. “Going through the professional process of having a true juror come and say, ‘these works are not good enough to be in the show’ or ‘these are good enough to be accepted’ is a part of being an artist,” Bruch said.
Bruch described the ins and outs of the jurying process. “All identifying information is taken off of the work so that it just stands on its own. It’s set before a juror who weeds them out through his own process. The juror is always someone from outside Ouachita, and someone who is in the field with the knowledge to judge,” Bruch said. This year a professor from Henderson will act as the official juror for the exhibit.
Students who are considering applying for the exhibit do not have to worry about being an art major. Bruch explains that this competition accepts work from all majors. “Everyone does art, so we want to open this competition up to everybody. As long as you’re a student, you can enter,” Bruch said. There are no art categories, with all pieces being judged on the same level. Applicants can submit anything such as graphic designs, sculptures or photographs.
Usually this competition receives around 50 submissions. The cost to submit a piece this year is $5. This money goes right back to the students through the monetary awards given to students who place first, second and third. There is also one special award, called the faculty award, which is for art made outside of a classroom situation. This will be awarded to either someone who is not an art major or an art major that has created a separate work that has nothing to do with their class assignments or projects.
The Student Juried Exhibit has an impact further than just being an art competition, however. “I think it brings to light what happens in the art building, Students see the professional product that’s displayed in a way that’s meant to be see. Also it’s a chance for students who aren’t in the art department but still have those skills to go through that process and have their work shown to the public,” Bruch said.
Art is one of the ways that people can express themselves, and this Exhibit gives students that chance to represent a part of themselves. “It shows the heart of our students. I think when you see the art, you can see the mission of the university reflected. A lot of the students have a focus on people and love of community. Their love of God is reflected through the images they put on the page,” Bruch said.
Bruch encourages all Ouachita students to attend the exhibit and support their fellow Ouachitonians. “It’s a good opportunity for people to support the art students. Just taking the time to come to the awards ceremony is so important. Your friend might not have an art work that’s getting an award, but they have an art work on the wall. Being there on that day is special…it’s a small amount of time but it means a lot to those students,” Bruch said.
The art gallery times are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For any more information of the 2017 Student Juried Exhibit, contact Summer Bruch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– By AJ Stambolie, student writer