Baylor University students featured in art exhibit

By Rae Jefferson
A&E Editor

Baylor University’s Department of Art will celebrate the best in student creations at an annual art exhibition tonight.

The 2015 Baylor Art Student Exhibition will features selected works from students tonight.

Accomplished Texas artist Danville Chadbourne is this year’s guest juror, meaning he selected the works featured in the exhibition, said museum director Karin Gilliam. Of the approximately 200 entries received, 78 were selected for the exhibition.

Chadbourne will give out eight awards, called juror’s choice, at the event. Recipients will also leave with a $100 cash prize. A ninth award, people’s choice, will be determined by visitor votes until April 14. The winner of this award will receive a $200 cash prize.

The students, whose art had to be created in a Baylor studio art class, do not learn if their work was admitted into the exhibition until the doors open for the event, said Brownwood senior Becky Fowler.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking,” said Fowler, who submitted four pieces to the exhibition this year. “You want to tell your friends and family to come, but at the same time, you might get there and not see any of your things there.”

Fowler said two of her pieces were accepted into last year’s exhibition.

“It’s kind of like a little game, but it’s still an awesome experience because you have to get your supplies together for the exhibition,” she said.

Gilliam said the exhibition can help students learn to not be too hard on themselves, something that was reiterated by a previous juror.

“Last year, we had a juror who said as a young artist, he had entered an exhibition and didn’t get accepted. He entered another exhibition and won first place — same piece,” Gilliam said. “Frequently, the juror will make the point that they didn’t make bad art, it just means that at this particular time, it wasn’t what that particular juror was looking for.”

Gilliam said jurors are chosen each year by a committee of art department faculty based on their merit as an artist and an educator, Gilliam said.

“It’s so that they can identify with students,” Gilliam said. “They would have a good feel for what a student’s proficiency should be at a university level.”

Gilliam said jurors bring their own artistic leanings each year, but they consistently seek technical proficiency and creativity in the students’ work. Chadbourne will speak to the students about the criteria by which the selected works were admitted into the exhibition.

Both Gilliam and Fowler agreed the process of entering the annual exhibition is important for art students because it helps to prepare them for their careers as professional artists.

“It’s great experience,” Fowler said. “It’s a great jump-off point for when we’re graduated and submitting stuff into larger galleries.”

According to a museum press release, two galleries will be used for the exhibition to allow a greater number of works to be featured.

Gilliam said the exhibition will benefit the rest of campus because it will expose them to the treasures of the department.

“We’re very proud of the level of ability of our students,” Gilliam said.