Story by Yashowanto Ghosh, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Yashowanto Ghosh
This year’s edition of the college’s annual all-media juried student art show, featuring 58 pieces by 20 Aquinas students, opened at the Art & Music Center Gallery with an afternoon reception on Thursday, Feb. 20.
The premise of the show is simple: Students can submit anything they’ve made in an AQ art class within the last year. From there, faculty in the Art Department look at all the submissions and decide what pieces will be accepted for the show. This means the pieces in the show are pieces that both the artists and professors felt proud enough to put on display— this ensures a uniformly high quality every year.
Every year—and this year is no exception—you will find artwork made by students at all stages of their artistic lives. There are people who were probably just taking one art class to clear their graduation requirement, but then really got into their class and made something beautiful. There are the people in the middle of their art majors or minors who brought the new pieces they added over the course of the last year to their portfolios; and then there are the people graduating now with a degree in art, such as Jade Lin and Janna Pant, who are taking their victory laps.
As I walked among the visitors who made it to the weekday afternoon opening reception, I realized there must be different kinds of viewers too, because my own response to each piece was entirely dependent on my degree of familiarity with the class in which the artist made that piece. I have taken our whole sequence of photography classes, and I felt nostalgic when I looked at the photographs and remembered doing the same assignments many years ago. I am taking “Ceramics I” right now, and the pottery in the show made me first wonder how exactly the artists may have made them, and then wonder whether I would ever get that good at it myself. Artwork from other classes made me respond with an array of classic layman reactions ranging from “How beautiful!” to “What does it mean?” But yes, all of the work in this show is beautiful and definitely worth going back to see more than once.
And you will have plenty of opportunity to go check out the show more than once, because it runs for over a month—until Friday, March 27. It will be followed by this year’s B.F.A. show, which will open on Sunday, April 5, and that show promises to be a rare treat as well. Professor Dana Freeman, director of the gallery, said that there is no one finishing a B.F.A. this year—seven people graduated from it last year—so the show will instead have artwork in progress that will be worked on, even during the show, by students who are in the B.F.A. program.
That would be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see how art happens. But before that, the current show is a chance to see some amazing completed art.
Jasho is an alum (German ’11, Communication ’17, English ’19). While it is true that he sometimes wears dark glasses indoors at night, he is not really from New Zealand.