The latest exhibition in the Edna Carlsten Art Gallery in the Noel Fine Arts Center has artwork from nearly every medium to make an art aficionado out of anyone, all pieces of which have been created by students at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. The Juried Student Exhibition debuted Dec. 11 to a crowd of more than 50 faculty, students and community members alike, who came to the reception to support up and coming artists from UWSP.
This year’s award for Best in Show and recipient of the Arts Bash Award was Jeff Heath, a junior, for his work ‘Alienation,’ a mixed media work featuring glass figures standing on a carpet of moss.
"My more conceptual work, like this, is more about disconnections, alienation. The figures represent a human interaction using a plant form to represent that," Heath said about his piece.
When asked about the quality of this year’s exhibition, Heath was humble: "I was really surprised that I got Best in Show because of how much really good work there was this year."
Ryan Weisenfeld, winner of the William J. Handord Memorial Art Excellence Award for his piece ‘Flying Aussie,’ agreed with Heath, saying, "It feels great, I’m glad it got recognized, it’s a great resume piece and I’m just excited to have it in the show. It makes it even more prestigious to be compared with all (these works) and still come out with a piece that got an award."
For some students, this year was their first year entering the Juried Student Exhibition. In Nicole Pooler’s case, it was not only the first time she entered the show--she also won an award.
"This is my first (time entering), so I’m really surprised … This is the first award I’ve gotten, college speaking. I’ve gotten some things in the past but not for anything I’ve done here. It feels awesome," Pooler said. Pooler won the Almost Rembrandt Award for her print of Jesters I.
Out of over 300 pieces that were submitted to the Juried Student Exhibition, the independent juror, Benjamin Reinhart, a professor from Lawrence University, narrowed the field down to around 100 pieces for the show. Reinhart then selected this year’s award winners, with awards ranging from Best in Show to awards for excellence in ceramics, painting, drawing, photography and printmaking as well as Foundation Awards for exceptional work from freshman artists.
"As far as what gets in the show, that’s up to the juror," said Robert Erickson, UWSP’s printmaking professor and stand-in awards presenter. "Sometimes the juror will put a lot of pieces in, sometimes they will put very few pieces in. Most years they want a lot of pieces in and have a lot of students represented in the show."
Cash prizes also went along with the awards, ranging from $25 for Foundation Awards to $500 for Best in Show.