1st Annual Student Art Competition

On Feb. 28 in the Cameron University Art Teaching Gallery inside the campus Art Building, the first annual Student Art Competition exhibitopened to the public.
The exhibit is organized by current and former art faculty as an opportunity to showcase not only the Art Teaching Gallery but also the students who make up the department.

The Student Art Competition featured work from students who have completed or are enrolled in an art course in Fall 2019 or Spring 2020.
Featured art consisted of all a variety of different mediums, techniques and styles.

Twenty-four Cameron University art students submitted a total of eighty-one individual pieces created over the course of their years at the university.

The pieces come from inside and outside of the classroom to showcase not only scholarly excellence but also individual creativity.
Students submitted so many pieces that the gallery wasn’t big enough to contain all of the art.

Pieces are hanging in the foyer along with the hallways to successfully showcase every artists’ work.

The award ceremony took place at the beginning of the event where Professor Jack Bryan was introduced to the audience by Professor Edna McMillan, and assisting professors Kathy Liontas-Warren and Monika Lineham.

Jack Bryan is a Professor Emeritus who established the original Cameron University art program and served as chair of the department from 1967 to 2000.

He was aslo the juror of the Student Art Contest.

McMillan started off the award ceremony by telling stories about Bryan’s legacy and impact on students at Cameron and how he served as a role model, a teacher and family to the students in the art department during his time here.

McMillan reminisced about Bryans’ impact inside the classroom and his continuous motivation to encourage and provide for the students in the art department.

Bryan began his award presentation by reflecting on his experience of selecting the winners for this year’s competition.

“When judging each piece, it’s easy to remember a work, but I wanted to be able to see them for as they are not just a memory,” he said as he walked around the audience holding up his personal journal.

In the journal, tiny square replicas of individual student works filled the page, each carefully painted and as vibrant as the ones that hung on the walls, “your art is so profound I was compelled to recreate it, to remember it, to have a memory of it.”

“Every single artist created incredible works of art that I believe truly showcased the talent this department holds; it made my job difficult as I’m sure you can imagine.”

Bryan judged awards for two categories: Two-Dimensional Art and Three-Dimensional Art along with Honorable mentions.
Bryan presented three awards from each category in the form of a certificate, a reflection of the artists’ winning pieces and cash awards ranging from $250 to $50.

Bryan presented each recipient with commentary provided about their success as artists, future plans and highlighting either a particular aspect of the artists’ personalities or techniques.

Attendees enjoyed complimentary snacks and beverages as well as an opportunity to socialize with the artist ultimately giving the artists the opportunity to defend, discuss and sell their artwork.

The art department hosts events every year in order to help students showcase their work and develop professional experience in communicating with potential clients, advertising themselves and enhancing their professional resumes.

These events include the Senior Art Show which takes place every April, assistant teaching in primary school art classes and single artist exhibits.
Senior Art Award winner and Fine Arts Major Austin Patterson said the department has greatly helped him in his development as an artist.

“This department taught me in the traditional style and pushed me to apply my own imagination and even rewrite my own rules in the process of making art,” he said. “The faculty here have supported, encouraged, and pushed me to help me become the artist I am today.”

Patterson offered advice to student’s interested in pursuing careers in art. “Your best is enough.

But you have to do it.

You have to spend time on it, and give it your all,” he said. “Don’t treat everything you make as if it is precious or needs to be perfect.
You have to make mistakes to learn.”

Students interested in learning more about opportunities within the art department are encouraged to contact Scott Richard Klein by email at scottk@cameron.edu or at (580)581-2346.

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