by Allayah Carr with photography by Eric Nauert
Students at the University of West Georgia had the opportunity to display their art
work in the annual Juried Student Exhibit, hosted by the Department of Art. Students
were allowed to submit up to five pieces of their original artwork for consideration.
More than 200 art pieces were submitted by over 50 students while only 70 were selected
for display in the Bobick Gallery and Gallery 2 in the Humanities Building on the
“It’s a prestigious competition,” said Stephanie Smith, lecturer and gallery director. “The cream rises to the top and the rest is the based on the juror’s preference.”
The faculty of the art department select an outside objective juror who doesn’t know the students and hasn’t seen the art previously in order to prevent biases. The faculty makes juror suggestions based on people who are considered experts in the world of art. This year’s juror was Christina Bray, director of development at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta. Stephanie and Christina sorted through digital copies of all of the submissions while Christina handpicked the final 70. After the pieces were hung in the gallery, a second competition began. This one was for awards.
“We invite the juror to our campus to view the pieces in person,” Stephanie said. “That way the juror can see the quality of the art pieces in person to help make his or her decision.”
The award ceremony was held on Thursday, January 28. Several awards were given to student ranging from Best in Show to merit awards for both 3D and 2D artwork. The awards are given based predominantly on the juror’s preference.
“Christina goes by what she considers the strongest piece of work,” Stephanie said. “Does it say anything? Is there a concept behind it? Or is it solely aesthetically pleasing?”
Laura Booth, a senior studying photography, took home the Best in Show prize for her photography piece entitled Past, Present, and Future. Olivia Cunningham, a senior studying ceramics, received Best in Show for her ceramic and wood creation titled A Savage Man’s Sophistication. Both of these pieces, along with the other award recipients, remained on display in the Bobick Gallery until the exhibit closed.