Battle of the Artists provides platform for original student pieces

The G.R.E.A.T. Battle of the Artists Exhibition opened on Sunday April 3 in the Kinetic Gallery in the MacVittie College Union. The gallery featured multiple paintings from Geneseo student artists all over campus in a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. Each painting in the gallery was submitted by individual students hoping to win a monetary prize. Every submitted painting was put up in the gallery and students and onlookers were given the chance to vote for their top three favorite paintings. Sophomore Allison Altschiller also performed acoustic songs on her guitar at the start of the event, adding to the relaxed, creative vibe.

The event was run by Geneseo Campus Activities Board’s Kinetic Gallery Arts and Exhibit coordinator senior Tahlia Brody. Taking the reins from Chelsea Butkowski ‘15, Brody explained that she ran for the position in hopes of revitalizing an admiration for art on campus. She added that she realized her passion for the arts after taking art classes at Geneseo. “I wanted to do whatever I could to make sure there was more art on campus,” she said.

Brody noted that students could submit their art in any medium they desire—the gallery’s art ranged from photographs and paintings to ceramics and sculptures. There was also a 3-D printer present to introduce students to the inner workings of this unique technology. All of this was done in hopes of expanding Geneseo’s knowledge and appreciation for art.

“[The gallery] encourages students to do art. It also gives them a chance to show off their art to the rest of the campus community and encourages them to finish their pieces ... or start [them],” Brody said. “I hope it encourages people to be inspired by what they see and maybe start to pursue [art] themselves ... maybe just to appreciate what they see and just be happy or … whatever other feeling that it evokes for them.”

Artist senior Amy Liang expressed a similar sentiment, emphasizing that she wanted her art to evoke certain emotions in the onlookers. “I really like to capture a moment that conveys a sort of feeling,” she said. “Whether it’s the feeling that I had when I was there or the feeling that the photo itself evokes on its own accord, I try to portray [the meaning] through editing and through the name I give it.”

A piece of Liang’s photography got her the runner up position in last year’s competition. She explained that her photo “Stillness,” “created a really calm feeling” through “a river that was very calm [and] hardly moving. There was no one in the photo so it was just a boat, the sunset and the water.”

For her third year in the Battle of the Artists, Liang submitted three photos that were—amazingly—all taken on a camera phone. Each photo was of beautiful landscapes and scenery from her travels to China and the Dominican Republic.

Liang also commented on the talent of her peers and fellow competitors. “I just love reading the captions of how people interpret or try to convey feeling in their work,” she said. “Especially because I’m more of a digital art person, so just seeing the skill that people have in their hands to be able to draw something from charcoal or pencil is very astounding.”

Sophomore Casey Vincelette created a portrait of her friend titled “Our Dear Leader.” For Vincelette, the piece held a lot of sentimental value; she noted in her caption, “While I don’t expect it to win anything, I am excited to share it with the world.”

With the help of Brody and the artists themselves, Geneseo’s Battle of the Artists is more than just a display of artwork. It’s a place where artists and students alike can share and appreciate each other’s ideas and passions.

The winners will be announced on April 19 as part of Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement and Talent Day.