The annual Juried Student Exhibition featuring 350 works of art submitted by students opened on Tuesday in the Boone Family Art Gallery.
Bernard Cooper, an art critic, award-winning memoirist, novelist and short story writer, selected 63 of the works to be displayed.
Cooper distributed $1,600 between eight artists featured in the student exhibition, who were announced at the artist reception on Tuesday. The winners included Oscar Rios, Alex “Wu” Kang, Andre Ghadesmian, Dameon Waggoner, Mchiach Noiti, Tsvetelina Valkov, Gina Fernandez, and Bonnie-Blue Delgado.
“It was hard to make a distinct hierarchy due to the varying styles and mediums of all the works,” Cooper said.
Cooper selected Andre Ghadesmian’s graphite drawing “Diamond Field” because of its “unexpected use of natural imagery and the translucence of the work.”
“The first thing that came in my mind was to find myself and that is what led me to draw and to paint,” Ghadesmian said. “However, this is not all about me rather it is about my work.”
Bonnie-Blue Delgado’s sculpture “The Beast” also surprised Cooper.
“I like to be a little puzzled by art but nothing too obscure,” Cooper said. “The ambiguity explains the art itself. It adds to the mystery and brings people closer to the work of art.”
Cooper described Delgado’s sculpture composed of wood, nails, razor blades, and a pink chenille duster as “ brutal yet frilly.”
“It’s sounds cliché but everything that [Cooper] described my works as was right,” Delgado added. “I wanted to capture the grotesque but also beauty and a bit of violence.”
With 350 works submitted and 63 works carefully selected by Cooper, the Boone Family Art Gallery thrived with a diverse variety of work for artists and art enthusiasts to view.
“I’m happy to see people here that care about art and the people that took the risk to submit their art,” Cooper said. “As an artist one has to learn to tolerate disappointment, but from that you also learn the reward of getting your work into a show or exhibition.”
The Juried Student Exhibition runs until Jan. 30 in the Boone Family Art Gallery.