Art exhibit offers artist professional experience

Artist Deondra Swanigan's collection: included here are three digital prints and a product line.

The 11th Annual Juried ATU Student Competitive art exhibit will take place Nov. 1- Dec. 5. Students may submit their artwork and compete among classmates to win prize money.

Accepted art will be on exhibit Nov. 1- Dec. 5 in the Norman Art Gallery and will be free for the public to enjoy. Sculptures, paintings, graphic design, photographs and ceramics are among a few of the pieces being displayed.

“Art enriches your life it makes you appreciate design. Everything in this world has been created by an artist,” Neal Harrington, gallery director and professor of printmaking, said. He encourages ATU students to come out and enjoy the exhibit; “It’s more fun than people think; it’s free, bring a date.”

Harrington said that this is a professional learning experience for art students. It teaches them what it is like to enter your work into professional competitions, getting your artwork exhibition ready and learning how to accurately price your pieces. “The talent pool here will blow your mind,” Harrington said.

Lauren Saab, from Eureka Springs, said, “It’s cool to see your work in a gallery setting; it’s a unique experience. Once I entered this one, I started entering other competitions, this is a good first one because they show you what to do and give you guidelines.”

There will be a first-place award of $300, a second-place award of $200, a third-place award of $100 and two honorable mention awards. Firestone Bridgestone Tire of Russellville has donated the award money the past several years.

Undergraduate students are able to submit up to three pieces of art in traditional and non-traditional medias.
There are typically 70-80 entries made of which roughly 50 percent are accepted and displayed. Students who are currently enrolled in art classes, or were enrolled last semester, are eligible to compete.

The announcement of awards will be from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8. This is the second largest reception held by the department, after the senior art show. In the past up to 150 people have attended.

Kimberly Huff, a graphic design major from Springdale, said, “It’s really neat to see other people’s artwork and to see what classmates are doing. It’s an honor to have your work in there because it’s a payoff for your hard work.”

Dr. Ken Burchett, professor of art at University of Central Arkansas in Conway, will judge the competition. He will select which winners as well as which pieces will be put on display.