Annual art show draws to a close

The 29th Annual Juried USF Student Art Exhibition, which features the judged work of undergraduate and graduate students of the university, comes to a close tonight with an awards reception for winners after displaying artwork in the Contemporary Art Museum for nearly two weeks.

The show, held once a year, allows students to submit up to two pieces of art for a small fee to be judged for admission in the show. The chosen pieces, which have been displayed in the museum since March 14, were then judged for cash prizes that will be handed out tonight.

“The art show is a wonderful opportunity to take a look at students’ work,” said USFCAM Associate Director Alexa Favata. “We had paintings, we have drawings, we have pieces that include sound installation, we have sculpture, we have ceramic, we have print, we have photography.”

Sorina Susnea, a third-year fine arts graduate student, entered a sculpture in the exhibition last year and was accepted this year with a painting called “Pool II.”

“The annual student exhibition is one of the biggest events in our school, and it is a great opportunity for students to participate,” Susnea said. “It is a chance to have our works shown in a great place such as the CAM and to be judged by an expert. I came here from Romania three years ago, and the experience in this program completely changed my perspective and, I hope, my future.”

More than 180 pieces of art were submitted this year, 35 of which were selected for the exhibition. This year, Robert Stackhouse, a USF Alumnus who has become an internationally renowned artist since graduating among USF’s first classes in 1956, judged the pieces. His work has been featured in museums across the country, and his influences in the 1950s and ’60s include the Abstract Expressionist movement and the School of Minimalism, according to the USFCAM Web site, . Stackhouse declared 18 of the artworks to be award-winning.

“(Stackhouse) lived in New York a number of years,” Favata said. “He’s been a professional artist, painter, sculptor, public artist and printmaker as well, and we invited him this year to serve as the juror.”

The 18 students won awards ranging from $50 to $1,000. The largest prizes went to Daniel Baeder for his video installation Stairclimber, a surrealist projection on cloth, and Nathan Shafer for Sitcom Memetics, an inspection of the sitcom genre in storyboard format. Various individuals and companies in the area donated money for the prizes.

“We have the best-of-show award, which is $1,000, and that was given by the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg,” Favata said. “We have another award this year for $1,000, and that is the James Rosenquist materials award, and James Rosenquist is a highly regarded American pop artist who has been a good friend of the College of Visual and Performing Arts for a number of years. Another award from a corporation came from Furman Motor Car, and they gave a $500 award for photography.”

Students from the School of Art and Art History who won monetary awards for work displayed in the exhibit will have a chance to meet those who contributed the donations tonight from 6 — 7. The award ceremony is from 7-7:30 and is open to the public. Attendees will have an opportunity to view the show before its close on Saturday.

“It’s a really great night, but it’s not really quite as much ruckus as Art House,” Favata said.

“Art House” is an opportunity for the public to walk through and see the usually restricted studios in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. It features a Salon de Refuseé for the artists whose work was not selected for the show, as well as music by students of Performing Arts, food and drinks.

“The students that didn’t get into the student show put (their) works up and down the Art Department, just so people can see what else was submitted,” Favata said. “The graduate students open their studios. Many of our music students and art students get together and they do performances, musical events, videos; that’s all held down at the college. But people come to the award ceremony here and then they mosey over to the art department there, and it’s a great evening.”

The next big exhibition opens April 8 and features a Cuban collection of exterior and interior work called “Los Carpinteros,” which translates to “The Carpenters.”