From Jan. 10 until Feb. 4, the Art Department Gallery held its 17th annual art student exhibition.
The exhibition showcased works from art students of all levels with a variety of mediums. Students were awarded for Best in Show and Juror’s Choice.
Jess Hodges, a fine arts senior won a Juror’s Choice award for their piece “Four Walls and I.”
“This year I had two pieces accepted into the student show,” Hodges said. “One is a painting titled: ‘The Eleventh Year,’ and is a memorial portrait of my family cat who had passed away suddenly at the end of August. The other piece: ‘Four Walls and I,’ is a mixed media on canvas… I was challenged to make a conceptual piece in Professor Zivich’s Advanced Drawing course. The fabric’s pattern closely resembles that of a prison tattoo that is common for repeat offenders, especially those who have been in solitary confinement. Rats are considered vermin and have been associated with dank places throughout history (including prisons) and the wings symbolize a flight to freedom. The composition was also inspired by the famous cherubs found in Raphael’s Sistine Madonna painting.”
Hodges always had those around them encourage their passion for art while growing up.
“I’ve been open about my struggle with mental illness,” Hodges said. “It had a huge impact on my life during my teen years and I didn’t plan on any future. After getting help, I made the decision to pursue my art and I was lucky enough to be accepted to SVSU where I’ve been given many opportunities to learn and grow as an artist! For me, art is everything.”
Hodges is very grateful to have their work showcased and to win an award.
Devin Butler, a senior graphic design major, won Best in Show for his emotional abuse series Escape.
“Art to me is a way to express my thoughts, emotions and ideals, and manifest it into the physical world visually in a way that others can observe and think about themselves,” Butler said.
Butler discovered his passion for fine arts photography during his second year. Although he did not plan to get into photography, he found he had a natural talent for it.
“The pieces that I exhibited in the show… [are] proud achievements for me,” Butler said. “Winning an award for my photography work and having it exhibited means a lot to me, as I feel that I’ve proven to myself that I have what it takes to be a successful artist and really shows that I’ve came a long way.”
Tera Peters, a fifth-year fine arts student, won two awards. She won Best in Show for her piece “Jerry” and Juror’s Choice for “3D Heart.”
“‘Jerry’ is more of a personal piece, representing how I tend to suppress a lot of my feelings and get locked in my own head,” Peters said. “There’s a broken time piece on there because I’ve always had an issue with getting things done on time… I’m very much a perfectionist, but also very indecisive. … It’s like a self-portrait in an abstract way.”
Peters said she didn’t start as an art major but made the switch when she transferred to SVSU two years ago.
“Now that I’m in the art department, I finally feel at home,” Peters said.
Peters said she is very grateful to have won an award and admires the other artists and pieces that were also in the exhibition.
“I’ve kind of been struggling lately with knowing if I’m on the right path… but winning the awards makes me see that maybe I am on the right path,” Peters said.
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