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SONY DSC This spring, Beacon College is holding its first ever juried student art show, celebrating the opening with a reception to be held on Friday, April 18th from 4-6pm. A total of $500 in awards will be distributed, and the works of about 20 students will be featured in the Kristin Michelle Mason Art Gallery, along with Rebecca Rasmussen’s senior exhibition entitled “A Human Spirit.”

With the SACS approval of the Studio Arts major in the fall and the addition of the new gallery space on campus, professors Russ Bellamy and Van Galyon decided it was imperative to begin holding juried student art shows. This provides an opportunity for the students to see their works on display in a professional gallery setting, preparing them for the realities of life as a professional artist. It also gives them insight into the idea of art criticism, one of the most important lessons being that every critic will evaluate the works based on different qualities, and there is very little hope in predicting which pieces s/he may be most drawn to.

SONY DSC In order to get into the show, students were required to submit work to either Russ or Van, who then made the decisions as to which works would be accepted into the show. Submitted mediums ranged from painting and drawing to sculpture and performance pieces.

Artist Dustin Boise, visiting campus from Monday through Wednesday, has the distinction of acting as guest judge. Prizes will be awarded to best of show, best 2D art, best 3D art, and there will also be three honorable mentions. The winners will be announced at Friday’s reception, and Dustin’s statement will be posted at that time.

For many students, this juried show will be the first time they have had a chance to exhibit their work. It should be an exciting experience for them, especially as they listen to critiques from peers and other members of the College community. Students not featured in the show will have an opportunity to not only support their colleagues, but also get an idea of what their classmates are doing artistically. They may be inspired to create their own pieces, or they may find that they just appreciate and enjoy seeing the works of others. The unveiling of the winners should be an exciting moment for artists and non-artists alike.

Refreshments will be served at the reception, and the public is welcome to attend. The exhibition will be up through graduation weekend, so families unable to attend the opening will still have ample time to check out the students’ works. And there is sure to be plenty of variety so no one should have a problem finding a piece that “speaks” to him/her!

~ Gretchen Dreimiller