Student gallery prepares artists for professional work
The Daily Courier
Artists spend years perfecting their technique and mastering their chosen medium. As varied as their visions might be, a milestone in most all artists' careers is their first art show.
The Yavapai College Fall 2007 Student Juried Art Exhibition gave students a chance to use the skills they've learned in their art classes and show their talent to the school and the community.
"This event has been around quite a while, but I really think it just gets better and better each year," said Filmer Kewanyama, the YC Art Gallery Manager. "We let students in art classes know about it ahead of time so they can begin work on their pieces well in advance. We had over 200 entries this year, and about 115 of them were chosen for the exhibition."
Kewanyama said that the students work with the instructors of their art classes in submitting a piece. To be admitted, the art must reflect skills that the class in question teaches, and it must be an original creative work.
"We bring in art professionals to judge the pieces," said Kewanyama. "This year our judge was Karen Churchill, an art history teacher here. Her job as judge was not an easy one. We have limited space, so she had to be very picky of the smallest details."
Kewayama said that receiving a professional evaluation of their work gives students a valuable experience and encourages them to work even harder for the next exhibition. He added that many of the students involved sell the pieces on display at the exhibit, giving them a taste of the life of a professional commercial artist.
"I actually sold my piece on opening night. I was pleasantly surprised," said Mary Lou Asaro, a student in Printmaking III who won the "Best of Show Two-Dimensional Award" for her entry "Santa Fe." "It's a Carborendum print. That's a metal made into grit, which is applied to a plate with a blue of sorts. I've created an abstract piece using different color patterns to give it depth."
Asaro said that she was interested in art earlier in life and, after retiring, she began taking art classes at YC, which have revived her interest.
"This art show is a very good experience, very rewarding," said Asaro. "It's an excellent gallery. I hope people in town realize how lucky they are to have such a great gallery here. I've worked with art on the administrative side, and few galleries have such a great diversity of talent available."
Michael Brown, a Ceramics III student, won first place in the Ceramics category with "Carousel," a "flowing piece filled with motion and color" that he said offered a refreshing change of pace from his usual work.
"I'm glad for this gallery, because it offered a chance at artistic freedom for me," said Brown. "I'm a student here, but also an employee at the school, as Career Services coordinator. Ceramics takes me outside what I normally do, and lets me fulfill other passions in life. I think it's great for all the students who can experience that, and be a part of the whole creative process."
Not all of the pieces on display are for sale, Kewanyama said; it's at the students' discretion.
"I know how it can be for an early artist. You get emotionally invested in a piece, and you don't want to ever give it up," said Kewanyama. "That's one of the hardest things for an artist to learn to do."
The gallery will be open through Friday, Nov. 16. It will be open today from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
For more information call the Yavapai College Art Gallery at 776-2031.
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