Thursday, April 26, 5 pm
Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall (PAC 134)
Awards ceremony for the Jacki Headley University Art Gallery’s 63rd Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition, the Janet Turner Print Museum’s 23rd Juried Student Print Exhibition, the 16th Ink/Clay Exhibition, and the 11th Annual Juried Art Education Exhibition.
Congratulations to this year’s selected award winners!
Dean’s Prize, Tatiana Stevens
Normal school project, 2017-18
23 ½ x 19 inches each
Juror Comments: Deploying a hand-based medium to foment engagement, Stevens created a crowd-based image generator through the development of a poll hosted by the university’s website. The seemingly incongruous integration of image and text in art has a long history in art, serving to pull art away from the decorative toward the disruptive in public spaces and consequently employing it as a tool for activism. In Normal School Project, the artist focuses on her immediate campus community in order to draw attention to systemic issues that demand immediate attention. In inviting a broad base of voices and using an appealing and seemingly whimsical visual language, however, she dispenses criticism with a loving hand, inviting everyone with a stake in the health of this community to play along. This generous and inclusive activation of a discipline that traditionally lives in the realm of the elite and privileged classes recognizes and respects the power of art and its potential to call out, to embrace, and to heal.
Juror Prize, Jory Harms
If You Love something, 2018
Juror Comments: In If You Love Something, the studio becomes a place of not only work, ideation, and reflection, but also a space for the coming to terms with identity. This process can be destructive as well as constructive. The painstaking and repetitive hand-sculpting in clay—the same material, according to many creation beliefs, from which humanity is said to have been formed—of naturalistic portrayals of the male member becomes a way for the artist to reconcile himself to constructs of gender and the societal burden they place on the individual. The video medium offers the viewer a glimpse into the intimacy of the studio and the complexity of the artistic process, as Harms labors and ponders, consumes himself in activity and steps back to assess his work. We witness also the summoning of moral courage as the artist prepares to bring his meticulous process to its inevitable conclusion. In the words of Mikhail Bakunin, “The passion for destruction is a creative passion too!”
Juror Prize, Tonantzin Esquivel
Fallow Land, 2018
Oil on canvas mounted on
36 x 48 inches each
Juror Comments: Esquivel’s series No Quiero Que Se Vaya [I Do Not Want It to Go] grasps at memories of her childhood—some sharp and clear, some fading and elusive—in an agricultural community in Northern California. In Esquivel’s diptych painting Fallow Land, the artist depicts her memory of the landscape itself as it has become bleached with time. The acutely centralized vanishing point and the orchard’s orderly rows of trees draw viewers into the dreamlike landscape, but the severity of the picture’s bifurcation, almost violent in its division, denies footing into the scene, like a fractured, fragmented memory. Though the scene depicted is starkly rendered, the otherworldly palette and the strange, twinkling substance in the air—is it pollen? snow? spectral light?—serve to remind us of the fragility of lived experience.
Juror Prize, Hope Blackwell
Functions to appear normal,2018
Juror Comments: Negotiating the world outside with the complex internal realm of the mind can be treacherous. Blackwell’s video work Functions to Appear Normal is a window into the reckoning between the mind and the body. We view the artist engaged in repetitive actions in an effort to trick the mind and to instill normative behaviors and responses in the body. The futility of these earnest attempts evokes a poignant sense of empathy and the uncanny feeling of viewing one’s coming to terms with internal conflicts in a mirror. But in raising her vantage point and forcing the viewer to regard her from below, the artist asserts her individuality—she is alone in this struggle, as are we.