Thomas Moran | Arts and Life Editor
The Martin Museum of Art closed its exhibition “Neoclassical Gaze: Myth and Reality of Ancient Sculpture” March 8, and the 2019 Baylor Art Student Exhibition is in the works to replace it. Students are able to submit pieces through 4 p.m. Wednesday to potentially be selected for the show.
Allison Chew is the director of the Martin Museum of Art, and said the show is an annual event to showcase some of the best work being produced by students in the art department. Pieces are selected by a qualified juror every year, Chew said.
“We have a jury process where we select someone who will go through all the works and pick out the cream of the crop, in essence, and choose awards based on the types of works submitted,” Chew said. “This year, it’s Tish Brewer. She is the owner of The Center for Art Conservation in Dallas … So, she’ll come in on Thursday morning and take a look at the work.”
The juror decides everything from which pieces enter the show, to which win the awards, to which criteria she is looking for, Chew said.
“It is a blind process, so she doesn’t know who the artist is, how many works they’ve submitted,” Chew said. “She is jurying solely based on the work in front of her. We let her go through and decide what she wants in the show, and then she’ll come to the opening the following week and explain the process and the things she was looking for that she felt were successful in the work, maybe some of the things that she felt weren’t successful, and then she’ll talk about why she chose some of the winners.”
Students are able to submit pieces under eight categories: painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture, graphic design, textiles/fabrics, printmaking and drawing.
“Each category has a winner, and then we have a best of show,” Chew said. “We also allow the general public to come in and vote for a people’s choice award that we give out at the end of the show.”
The art show welcomes pieces from any student enrolled in an art class since last year’s show, Chew said.
Katy junior Jennifer Conrad is one of two sculpture majors at Baylor, and won the best of show award last year for her ovaloid, which she made in her 3D design class. She is planning on submitting several pieces in hopes of being selected to appear in the show and potentially chosen for some of the awards. The annual student show generates plenty of buzz and excitement among the art students, Conrad said.
“I’m always really excited about it,” Conrad said. “We never really know who gets in, none of the professors or the students, and so going to the reception is exciting because you don’t know if you got in or not and it’s kind of gambling at that point.”
The student show is a special time for the students because they get to see the pieces their peers have created after a year of hard work, Conrad said.
“Most of us are working in our classes and focusing on our own pieces and we don’t really get to see what everybody else is doing,” Conrad said. “In that, we get to see what our friends are doing, what everybody else is working on, and it’s exciting.”
Robbie Barber is a professor of sculpture and 3D design in the art department and, in his view, the art show is to art what a performance is to a theater.
“I think a comparison would be to theater,” Barber said. “You go through all that trouble to write the play, practice the play, direct the play, build the sets, and if you didn’t show the artwork, it would be like theater not having the production so that you would have an audience to view it.”
The show is a great setting for students to show their work to friends, family and the greater community, Barber said.
Beyond opening the achievements of the art students to public viewing, appearing in the show is also a valuable professional opportunity.
“It also builds their resume, especially if they win an award,” Chew said. “They can list that as they’re applying for graduate schools or going into the workforce or looking for employment in the arts community.”
Alongside the 2019 Baylor Art Student Exhibition, another exhibit will also be opening, called the “Expanse Between Exhibition.”
“‘The Expanse Between’ is two visiting artists, Alexis Serio and Dewane Hughes, and they’re both professors at the University of Texas at Tyler,” Chew said.
The exhibit will primarily feature watercolor paintings by Serio and large metal sculptures by Hughes.
The show opens on March 28 at 5:30 p.m.
“It will be a big reveal, reception and award ceremony,” Chew said. “So none of the students will know if their work is in the show or not until the 28th at 5:30, and we hand out awards the same night.”