Old Dominion’s art department kicked off their sixth annual juried exhibition and scholarship competition on March 1. The beginning day was an opening reception free to the public. It lasted from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The gallery is located on Monarch Way right across from the police station. Student work will be displayed until March 31.
Special guest, Amy Brandt, the McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum, selected work from 150 Old Dominion art students. The 20 pieces selected were chosen based on quality of content, form, idea and execution. Brandt has held many curatorial positions at the American Federation of Arts, the Brooklyn Museum and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. She has worked for the Chrysler Museum for two years.
The staff at the Baron and Ellin Galleries welcomed her as the guest of the night. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know the art department and students over the past two years,” said Brandt. “We have done collaborative work together and it has been a wonderful experience.”
Finalists were surprised when they found out they were selected. “Of course there was shock and then a very strong feeling of flattery right before the nervousness settled in,” said senior Stephanie Ramirez, who found out she was a finalist by email.
Both of Ramirez’s works are: “Untitled 2” and “Untitled 4.” When asked what her artwork represents, Ramirez gave a universal answer about life. “My artwork represents a struggle,” she said. “I firmly believe everyone has a story, has a struggle, a hurdle, a doubt, odds.”
Ken Riley, another senior, felt the same way as Ramirez. “I was a bit surprised,” he said. “I didn’t think I would be selected considering the wealth of talent and creativity among the students in the art department.” Riley was informed by a classmate on Feb. 22 he was a finalist, which was the same day of judging.
Riley emphasizes landscapes in his photo “Blackwater Ramp.” “I try to find humor in everyday things but overall, I think I like landscape and scenic type photography, especially of a place I enjoy,” he said. He cites his involvement in art stemming from a camping trip in Washington State with his family.
On the other hand, senior Kate Swartz had mixed feelings. “I was pretty confident in that I would get at least one piece out of the five I submitted in,” said Swartz. “I was shocked when I found out that three were selected.” Swartz’s three works included “Subway,” “Target Shopper” and “Untitled Figure 1.” Gretta Pratt, one of the photography professors at the art department, informed Swartz of her achievement.
Swartz’s artwork also represents a struggle. Her piece “Untitled Figure 1,” portrays her experience healing from a deep loss. “I became heavily interested in photography after Hurricane Katrina completely submerged my home underwater when I was 16 years old,” said Swartz.
Swartz strikes two different themes in “Subway” and “Target Shopper.” Consumerism is the main theme in “Target Shopper” during Black Friday, the busiest day for retailers. Neon signs are in the photo attracting shoppers to deals. In Swartz’s “Subway” photograph, she captured a passenger enjoying leisure time during a ride.
This is the complete list of students whose work was chosen for the art show:
Troy Bonner: Untitled
Chris Boylan: Ray, A True Friend is Hard to Find
Anthony Brown: Research Prototype on Flexible Properties of Wood
Chali Cameron: Glued to Technology
James Clark: Art’s a Drag
Jessica Copeland: Gluttony, Pride, Greed, Lust, Revenge
Jon Gibson: Taking Up Residency, Home
Madelyn Higgins: Teapot in Black and White
Austin Jacobs: Robots and You, Water for Elephants, Father of the Atomic Bomb
Megan Jefferson: Angry Santa Cards, Hop on Down
Jessica Midgley: Eevee is Missing, Squirtle Mourns, Pickachu’s Funeral
Preston Mosley: America Scores with Trojan
Stephanie Ramirez: Untitled 2, Untitled 4
Leslie Renn: Signifyin’, Exponentiation
Ken Riley: Blackwater Ramp
Bryan Ruiz: Shadow of Doubt, Unknown Soldier, Hope
Kate Swartz: Subway, Target Shopper, Untitled Figure 1
Jesse Switzer: Untitled 1, Untitled 2, Odin’s Favor
Angie Van Dyke: Warm Traditions
Edward Whelan: Relic, With Real Hair and Beard
By: Eric Smith