Anna Rinaggio, Campus Carrier asst. arts and living editor
Students taking studio art classes this semester are showing off their work in the ‘Select’ student art exhibition this week. Open to anyone in a studio art class, the gallery consists of artwork from all kinds of majors and skill levels.
Senior Rosalie Kahaly, who is submitting work for her honors pre-thesis class, said that the gallery is meant to show off the hard work of students from throughout the semester.
“The ‘Select’ show is essentially to display the works of art that the students are working on right now, the things that they’re exploring, and to showcase all the hard work and creation that they’re doing [in] all different types of mediums,” Kahaly said. “I know we have works on printmaking happening right now, we have a painting class, [and] there’s several ceramics classes going on at different levels.”
Kahaly said part of her requirements for her pre-thesis class was to submit five works from the semester to show at the gallery, all of which, she was able to choose herself.
“For pre-thesis, a requirement is to have five pieces of artwork to display, like a body of work you have, so these were my five pieces,” Kahaly said. “I had a lot more. Some of them were just exercises, sometimes they were just to put something on the paper for whatever I was feeling. But yeah, they were the ones that I put a lot of thought and detail into.”
More than just the piece itself goes into the gallery, and Kahaly said that artists have to consider a number of things related to the display of the work and its relation to other works around it.
“We have to take into account the light fixtures, [and] how the light is hitting these pieces,” Kahaly said. “We also have to think about eye level and how it is in relation to all the other pieces as well because you don’t want them to be jumbled [so] you have to look down for some. You kind of want them to be at a level where everyone regardless of height can see and enjoy the pieces. We also have to take into account how our space actually is made. We have pillars in there [and] we don’t want to have artwork behind those pillars [or] up against the wall because then you’re super close and you’re not seeing the art how you naturally would want to come up and see it.”
Associate Professor of Art, Brad Adams, said the gallery used to only show the works of pre-thesis students, but when he took over coordinating the event, he decided to allow submissions from other Berry studio art classes as well.
“Typically, what had happened was we’d had professional exhibits, we’d get to the end of the fall semester, and as part of our two-part thesis for seniors — there’s a pre-thesis in the fall and thesis in the spring — those students in the class would show work,” Adams said. “And so what I decided to do was to be a little bit more inclusive and say if there was work from other Berry studio art classes, we would show that work as well. So it’s a showcase of things that were made in this building in the fall term.”
Adams said that events like the ‘Select’ Gallery are important because they showcase student work in a more formal manner and encourage all Berry students to interact with the art department.
“It features a lot of great things that are going on in the building,” Adams said. “I think we try to get the work out in different ways, you’ll see work from some classes in the hallways outside the gallery, for example, [but] this, I think, is a more formal way to see it. It advertises great things students are doing, and so they’re sharing that research that takes place. I think regardless of what you’re studying, this is an opportunity that opens up your possibilities and ideas.”
Junior Brianna Dehring was the first student to submit artwork for the gallery, and said that while it was nerve-wracking, it was even more so exciting.
“[It is] nerve-wracking,” Dehring said. “I’d say it’s exciting. It would be more nerve-wracking if it was in a really big gallery outside of Berry, but this is the student ‘Select’ show. It’s for everybody, and it’s really judgement free because it is just for students to put their stuff in there and for other people to come enjoy.”
Dehring is submitting a piece from her Ceramics III class for the gallery. It was one of the first projects she made for the class, and she said that it was a challenge to complete because it had to be completed in two weeks.
“It was a two-week limit,” Dehring said. “It was our icebreaker project, so I was to create whatever [I] could in two weeks. I kind of overestimated how long two weeks is and really challenged myself on accident, but I got it done.”
Dehring said that events like ‘Select’ are important for the art department because it helps artists get closer and find inspiration in others’ works.
“It’s just a really good way to get to know the people around you, whether it’s in class or you’re just looking at someone else’s work,” Dehring said. “You’ll be asking like, ‘how did you do this?’ You take a lot of inspiration from each other.”