Juried Exhibit highlights art student luminaries

The Annual Juried Art Exhibition, a display in the Lederer Gallery this week, is an art show on campus that features a variety of students' best works, as picked by the students themselves.

There is no theme to the show, as the Juried exhibit is simply about art students putting their best foot forward and possibly winning cash prizes. Every year, 15 awards are given out by an outside judge, with monetary prizes for the top few. This year prizes included gift certificates to The Art Store and Under the Sun.

The Juried Show is a great example of how diverse Geneseo's studio art program really is. One glance around the Lederer Gallery reveals a wide variety of media, subjects and interpretations. From wood, metal and oil paint, to colored pencils, pastels and charcoal, there is a variety of colors and shapes adorning the walls and pedestals. In the middle of the room are Tom Coleman's "Bracelet" and "Small Box," which were awarded "Best in Show," and it's not hard to see why. Both pieces are made so expertly, you can't tell where any of the seams are in the metalwork. The box has a beautiful top inlaid with stone. There's a vibrant red lined next to a deep blue, a touch of natural colors and a watery green, and a cool gray that contrasts the vibrant colors of the other stones. It must have taken Coleman a great deal of time and effort to fit the stones in so smoothly that they appear as if they always lay in the silver just that way. Clearly the judge saw this as well, giving him the highest award.

There were many other winners as well, with three designated first places and three designated second places as well as five runners up. It is a problem to locate them in the gallery, however, as no one had placed the winners list anywhere by the pieces. Perhaps this is just as well, since all of the pieces in the show deserve some sort of recognition. Matthew Long's "Lost" also won an award, and was well deserving of it. Long painted a portrait onto three pieces of wood, using natural colors of acrylic paint, and taking his color cues from the wood itself. He painted using reds and browns that reflect his "canvas" in many places on the picture. Christina Tillapaugh's "Despair," a charcoal figure drawing with deep blues in the shadows and bright colors in the flesh highlights won an honorable mention. It is a moving piece as well, with the body bent over, and the face hidden. The pieces that won the awards weren't the only stellar works in the show. There are others that catch the eye when a person walks around the room. For example, Penelope Yocum's "Thoughts" which vaguely reminds the viewer of posters they may have seen on the walls of Sundance Books, or "Madame Gouvey," a print in subtle colors by Tiffany Scriven. Hiding the award labels makes the viewer look at them all, instead of jumping from one piece to another to see who won.

This years Annual Juried Art Exhibition was a strong one, and all students should try to get a look at it. They might be surprised to find how poetic visual art can be, and to find out that they go to school with a very talented set of art studio students.