Posted by Rachel Kim
On Feb. 3 eleven students were recognized for their artwork at the opening of the Schick Art Gallery 2011 Student Exhibition, the annual showcase that marked the first show of 2011.
The student exhibit displayed works that students created while enrolled in a studio art course at the college during the spring, summer or fall of 2010. Each individual could submit up to three original works.
This year, 233 individual works were submitted from 100 students. "It was quite large. I think it was our largest pool yet," said Peter Stake, director of the Schick Art Gallery.
Along with the great influx of art submissions, the exhibition received more than $1000 in awards that were funded through donations made by the Schick, the Tang Museum and other community businesses including Soave Faire and Adirondack Trust.
Nine students received cash prizes and two other students were given honorable mentions at the exhibit's opening. "It's exciting to see people support the arts," Stake said.
Every year, the prize-winners are selected by an outside juror. This year's juror was Rachel Seligman, director of the Mandeville Gallery at Union College and Skidmore alumna '91.
Stake noted the importance in having an outside juror view and judge students' artworks with an impartial eye. "We always choose and outside juror for the exhibition because it gives students a different point of view to work with," he said.
An outside opinion also adds to the advice and criticisms already given to students by their professors. "Since they're working with the art department all the time, they already know what we think in terms of quality of work," Stake said.
Jesse Moy '11, who received the Renee Van Dewater Memorial Award in painting found that having the exhibit judged by Seligman was helpful.
"You might submit three paintings and the one you feel least confident about is shown. It's interesting to receive that outside curatorial perspective," Moy said.
The large number of submissions allowed for variety among the works. "Overall, the collection was eclectic and all incredibly skillful work," Jeremy Endo '14 said.
"I think the show has a wide range of diversity. We have nine different media represented," Stake said. The exhibition features oil paintings, woodblock prints and various sculptures made of materials ranging from knit sweaters to bronze.
Aside from the various forms of artwork presented, the exhibition displayed diversity in the levels of artwork. "Some of the pieces are beginning levels and some are advanced," Stake explained. "It's not only the best overall, it represents many different levels."
Because students who are not necessarily studio art majors or minors can still be eligible to enter their work to the gallery, any student with an interest in art has the opportunity to present their artwork to the public.
"As a minor it's nice to have the opportunity to show in a place like the Schick, which is formal as far as student gallery spaces are concerned," Moy said.
Everett Hoffman ‘11, winner of the Tang Teaching Museum Award, is neither an art major nor an art minor, but a history major who has taken four art classes during his time at the college.
"This recognition has shown me that my work can be appreciated by those with substantially more artistic knowledge than myself, and has inspired me to keep on working hard and making sculptures that I think looks cool," Hoffman said.
The impact of the student exhibition at the Schick Art Gallery extends beyond the gallery's participants.
"Not only does it highlight the next wave of student artists, but it also influences and allows others to see what their peers have been working on," Olivia Boone '13 said.
The display of student artwork gives anyone with an interest in studio art and idea of how they may develop their own skills and showcase their own work in the future.
Endo, a potential studio art major, stated, "Any underclassman can look at this gallery, and it's a great place to foster inspiration."