Facing the real world of art can be surprising, rewarding, heartbreaking and a complex range of other emotions both the artist and the audience were not expecting. The 9th Annual Tech Juried Student Competitive Exhibition on Nov. 2 in the Norman Hall Art Gallery saw no exception to these emotions.
“There are some pieces that were really surprising, that I wouldn’t expect to see from students,” said Brooke Boyd, a CSP graduate assistant.
There were 101 works of art entered into this competition by 46 students (17 seniors, 14 juniors, 8 sophomores and 7 freshmen.) The students were allowed to enter the competition for free with up to three works per student.
Of the pieces entered, only 40 were chosen, most of which were created by juniors and seniors.
“I had entered in before and didn’t get anything in, and this being my senior year, it was really exciting to get chosen,” said Mariah Temple, a senior art education major from Benton.
Neal Harrington, associate professor of printmaking, first started this competition nine years ago to give the students a chance at a real-world situation.
Even though the prizes have gotten bigger thanks to generous donations from Bridgestone and a supporting department, Harrington plans to keep expanding. The prizes were $300 for first place, $200 for second, $100 for third and portfolios for honorable mentions.
“I got tired of paying more for the food than to the artist. I wanted an award that makes a difference to the students,” Harrington said about the prizes for this event.
This year’s juror was Winston Taylor, an Arkansas native from Little Rock. He received his bachelor degree in art from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Winston was chosen Beaux Arts Visual Artist of the Year in 2013 by the River Valley Arts Center and was awarded Arkansas Living Treasure in 2011.
“It is an honor to be chosen as juror,” Taylor said. “Little did I know how difficult the task would be.”
Taylor was chosen to narrow down the pieces to the 40 now on display in the Norman Hall Gallery. From those 40, he chose the top three.
“The first place choice captured my attention with its scale, gestural movement and juxtaposition of solid and linear form,” he said. “It seems to be crafted well and has a sophistication about it. Second place executed an oddly humorous subject with skillfully drawn lines in what seems to me a difficult media. Third place used what I think to be good choices in its composition and, again, with good command of the media.”
This year’s winners are Jennifer Prichard, winning first place with “Now Watch My Rising,” Mikahla Denney, second place finisher with “Cephalothoracopagus” and Emily Hogue, who came in third place with “Street Trash.”
Honorable mentions were Deondra Swanigan with “Thoughts of Suicide” and Sarah Parker with “Elmer’s Extinction.”
“I’m really honored and really surprised about which piece actually placed, but it’s a piece I put a lot of work into,” Hogue, a senior fine arts major from Beebe, said.
The Norman Hall Art Gallery, located on the first floor of Norman hall, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the exhibit will be on display until December 4.
“Some are pieces I would hang on the wall myself,” said Lynn Larish, a sophomore art education major from Harrison.