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A showcase of hard work

Ceramics, canvases, videos and other art of all media types filled the walls and floors of the USF Contemporary Art Museum. USF students, faculty, alumni and their family and friends gathered Friday evening at the for the opening reception of the 27th Annual Juried USF Student Art exhibition.

The exhibition, which will be on display until May 5, features the students’ work and their awards.

Fifty-two pieces were selected for this year’s exhibition, which was open to submissions from USF graduate and undergraduate students of all majors. More than 158 works were submitted for this year’s event.

Prizes were awarded for various interests, including the Salvador Dali Museum Best of Show Award, with a cash prize of $750, which went to Matthew Guest for his acrylic on canvas, “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” The Ferman Motor Car Photography Award, with a $500 prize, went to Britzel Vasquez for her digital print entitled “Red Series #4,” and the James Ronenquist Materials Award, with a $500 prize went to Ethan Kruszka for his mixed media work “SS Friso.” Other awards were given out, donated by museum supporters and community businesses.

Cosme Herrera, a senior, won one of several Citigroup Merit Awards for his work “Codex #29.” He said that he had entered pieces in the past that were not accepted into the show, but he was confident about the work he submitted this year. In previous years, he had entered ceramic works but wanted to try something different for this year’s exhibition.

“Art is very subjective,” he said. “Everyone has their own likes and dislikes.”

Herrera said he thought the show was very strong despite the fact that not all student works entered were accepted into the show. At least 106 works were turned down.

“Unfortunately, not everyone who submitted their pieces could get in,” he said.

Student viewers had positive reactions to the show, saying that they appreciated the art on display.

One visitor, sophomore Todd Dalton, said the most important aspect of the show was being able to think about what each piece represented.

“I feel the art presented at the show was very unique and insightful,” Dalton said. “There are some very creative and artistic people that go to USF, and it was a good way to showcase their talent.”

Judging was done by Elyse Goldberg, the director for the James Cohan Gallery and manager of the Robert Smithson Estate of New York. She has worked in various galleries in the New York area and also has co-produced an independent feature-length film titled Luminous Motion, directed by Bette Gordon. Goldberg is currently working on a new film entitled What’s a Girl Gotta Do.

Running concurrently with the exhibition was the College of Visual and Performing Arts Open House. Some of the works on display at the open house were works that were not admitted into the main show, in addition to many other pieces of various artistic media.

The USF Contemporary Art Museum is located in CAM 101, near the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. For more information about the exhibition, call 974-2849.

Contact Whitney Meersat