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Identity in the PSU Juried Student Exhibition

By Hannah Huckins; For the Clock
On March 31, 2017

"Tree Series" by Rachel DeWolfe, Best in Level A.

The Juried Student Exhibit takes place in the Karl Drerup Art Gallery at PSU every year. Students can submit work from all levels of art classes, as well as independent work. This year, two local artists judged the submissions. The exhibit will stay on display until April 13.

Students could submit a total of three different pieces of artwork. The jurors selected 37 pieces out of the 75 entries.

The visiting jurors of this year’s exhibition are local photographer, Maundy Mitchell, and PSU professor emerita of art, Annette Mitchell.

The jurors’ statement on the exhibit says, “The work is especially relevant to what is happening today. There were pieces that we found especially moving. It was a pleasure to see the excellent level of quality and the diversity that represents both art and non-art majors — the wide range of expression, sense of personal voice, and variety of media.”

Visiting jurors are asked to make the selections so that the choices are as fair as possible. The gallery looks for jurors who have experience making art and/or experience teaching art.

Maundy Mitchell’s photos have been published in magazines and online nationally and internationally. She has her own studio and enjoys giving people portraits that they love, whether they are a famous author in another country, or someone down the road in rural New Hampshire.

Annette Mitchell published a book and DVD titled “Foam Is Where The Art Is — New Ways To Print.” She explored and developed a block-printing medium and is still creating her own work.

"Lust" by Caity O'Leary, Best in Level C.

There are four levels of instruction that students could submit from, ranging from A through D. The levels align with beginner to advanced art classes.

The fifth level, level E, is open to student work made outside of classes at any level. This year’s show had the largest of level E submissions so far.

“This year, there were many pieces that explored the idea of identity,” said Cynthia Robinson, gallery director.

“We have an amazing video piece and a sound piece. We also have two ways to interact with the exhibit, designed by art history students. One interactive [component] is about adding comments about artworks, and the other invites visitors to use modeling clay to create their own expression of identity.”

Robinson said that it’s hard to describe why jurors select a piece. Overall, they look for appropriate quality, interesting attitudes and concepts explored, creativity, and good presentation.

Julia Mosso, a junior art major at PSU, submits pieces to the show every year. This year all of her submissions were put in the exhibit.

“I wasn’t very confident, since they were old pieces that I have just been staring at for a year,” she said. “It is nice to see how cohesive everything is and to feel like my work is being reinforced.”

Robinson said that the exhibit is a great opportunity for students to share their work beyond the classroom or studio.

“Part of art making is communicating meaning, and it is important to experience sharing work in a professional gallery, where it stands on its own,” she said, “a brave but important practice to learn.”

The exhibition is a chance for students to experience the art world and learn what it is like to create something that others can connect with. They also learn how to deal with rejection, something with which all artists must become familiar.

Visitors can stop by the Karl Drerup Gallery and participate in the exhibit. They can leave feedback on note tags provided at the door, and tie the cards to the rope running beneath the art pieces.

Visitors are encouraged to let the gallery and the artists know what they think about the work, show the artists that their effort is being acknowl- edged, and that it leaves an impact.

The Juried Student Exhibit will be on display at the Karl Drerup Art Gallery in the Draper and Maynard Building until April 13. Visit www. for more information.

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