“School Days: Annual Juried Student Show“ opened earlier this month on Jan. 17 in the Kimball Visual Arts Center’s Shaw Gallery.
Guest juror Hesse McGraw, vice president for exhibitions and public programs at the San Francisco Art Institute, selected student works from more than 110 submissions from 66 different artists to be displayed at the exhibition. Of the 110 pieces, around 60 were selected to be a part of the exhibit. Those selected are now open for public viewing in the Shaw Gallery.
“There is a huge variety of work, which is really exciting,” said Taylor Christenson, photography minor at Weber State University. “It makes for a good exhibit when you have a broad range of mediums.”
Christenson’s three-piece set of photographs, entitled “Glass,” is being presented at the exhibit. Each photo is of a different Utah wilderness landscape, with shards of broken and discarded glass as the primary subject.
“It’s a very light commentary on pollution and wastefulness,” Christenson said. “. . . They’re meant to be pleasing, they’re meant to be pretty, but they’re also meant to make you think a bit. There’s definitely a purpose to all the broken glass. I was really hoping people would reach out and grasp at what it might mean, because it definitely has a meaning.”
Christenson also praised her fellow artists. “Each student and each piece has . . . a unique feel and a unique perspective. There’s just some really great work. Our students produce some really unique and incredible things.”
Christenson’s submission won the Dean’s Purchase Award, one of various awards given to the students participating in the exhibit.
Many other media are used in the exhibit.
“We have sculpture, we have ceramics, we have book art,” said Sarah Ericson, Shaw Gallery coordinator. “There is photography, there is oil painting, mixed media, screen prints, tin types, and at the opening reception we had a performance piece; a student had his body painted and interacted with the gallery-goers.”
Ericson noted that the majority of the art in the exhibit is contemporary. “Works that when you look at them or . . . interact with them, you aren’t handed an easy solution to what the work is about. That’s contemporary. It’s all really strong work . . . Every piece has its place.”
The exhibition will run until Feb. 7. The Shaw Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12-5 p.m. on Saturdays. There is no admission charge, and tours are self-guided.
“We look forward to having our students . . . have their work showcased in the gallery for the community to view,” said Matt Choberka, chair of the department of visual arts at WSU.