Graduate Art Exhibit celebrates culture, senses, experience

Pushing through the doors of the Art and Design Building, the visitor is greeted with the Civil War song “Dixie” and the sonorous voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To their right, an imposing jumble of images looms over them. Power Remix is a large-scale installation incorporating drawing, painting and printmaking by second-year printmaking graduate student Roxxanne Reed.

“It deals with themes of power structure and struggle within American history,” Reed said. “I started with a figure of an artist working on a piece, and intuitively, one figure led to another… I like that everybody’s vantage point, no matter who they are or what they are about, they are all looking from different directions and their gaze is directed at something else. When you walk around the piece there is no one ‘right’ way to look at this.”

The panoply of historical figures range from Civil War photographer Mathew Brady to singer Kanye West and football quarterback Brett Favre.

“I have Kanye West in the picture because he is kind of the voice of civil rights now,” Reed said. “Each figure is a raw, broken figure who has to deal with insurmountable odds but then there is something honest and true about them as well.”

Reed is the recipient of this year’s Art Service Club Award, one of several honors bestowed on some participants of this year’s Annual Graduate Exhibition in the New Wagner Gallery through January 27.

Other graduate artists were honored with awards as well.

    Phillip J. Finder, ceramics: The Martha Holden Award
    Dan Van Tassell, sculpture: The Carey Orness Award
    Erica Iman, ceramics: Wagner Potters Assn. Award
    Kelly Robinson, metalsmithing/jewelry: Wagner Assoc. of Metalsmiths Award
    Jessica Cerutti, Photo/Digital: Digital Photo Inc. Award
    Tova Lund, metalsmithing/jewelry: Kendall Award
    Emily French, painting: Valerie Smith Award
    Mike Wartgow: painting: Colman, Richardson, Smith Hampton Award

“Students enter many shows, both on and off campus, and they’re hard to get into,” said Art and Design Professor Paulette Myers. “Once in a while you’re lucky enough to get an award and that goes on your resume. It’s a job-related consideration as well as something that may help a student get into another school or get a job with a gallery.”

The next show at the New Wagner Gallery is the Annual Undergraduate Exhibition which runs February 1 through 17. Both graduate and undergraduate exhibits are free, and open to the public. The undergraduate exhibit will be unveiled at a reception in the gallery on February 1 from 5 p.m. To 7 p.m.

Video of the 2011 Graduate Art Exhibit

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