By: Alexa Mandes
On April 21st, the Marlin Gallery in Lincoln Hall at the Blackwood campus was filled with opening night excitement. It was opening night of the student art show and students, teachers, friends, and parents filled the space in anticipation. The white walls were lined with paintings, drawings, and photos and the platforms on the floor held ceramics and sculptures. Spotlights shined on each piece showing its uniqueness and creativity. The smell of food and cake in celebration filled the air and the proud smiles of the students were evident in every look.
Tracy Steele, the art gallery director, explained the amount of work and preparation that goes into planning this big event. “The 43rd Annual Juried Visual Arts Student Show is Camden County College’s biggest show of the year. Preparation for the show starts as we start the spring semester each year,” explains Steele.
The preparation includes art professors encouraging their students to make quality pieces for inclusion in the show. Finding judges is another important aspect of the show. In order to keep bias outside the show, two judges were found. One judge from Moore College of Art and Design and another judge from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts helped make the difficult decisions. The judges were said to have really enjoyed seeing the creativity of the students and were impressed with the talent shown. They had a very difficult time during some of the decisions they had to make.
“Rules must be written up and distributed, dates for the show established, invitations, flyers and brochures designed and printed, and of course, we must order food and plan for the opening reception,” Steele said.
Also, hanging and numbering each piece in coordination with the brochures is an intricate process. Lighting was also done to enhance the look of each piece.
Not everyone that entered into the student show was accepted. Only pieces that had a promise that the judges were looking for had the honor of having their art hung on the walls. This alone is something to be proud of, especially for the beginning artists that made it into the show.
The award ceremony was kicked off on the evening of April 21st where eight awards were given out. For the best in show award, Joe Remakis won for his wood sculpted piece entitled, “Warthog.” First runner up was Nick Noker with his ink jet print entitled, “Nearly Color Blind.” Second runner up for her charcoal on paper piece was entitled, “A Girl and a Book”. Best in Photography was Yune Nguyen for his Silver Gelatin Print entitled, “Ugh!” Best in Ceramics was won by Kelly M. Potts for her Stoneware/Oil paint named, “Ahh! Mice!” Best in Drawing was won by Regina Ottman for her charcoal and chalk on paper named “Midnight Snack.” Tim Witts won for his wood, fiberglass, plaster, ink piece entitled “Anomie.” And lastly, best in sculpture was won by Jess Williams for her untitled plaster piece.
Yune Nguyen describes his feelings on winning the best in photography award. “I can’t believe I won. It’s awesome. I’m a Photography 1 student and when I started photography I got really into it immediately and I’m glad it paid off. I’m really happy with my photo.”
According to Tracy Steele, the show this year was a great success. “I consider all of our students work to be a unique expression of their creative spirit. It is important for us, as artists, to be able to show our work, to be open to praise and criticism. Art cannot be truly creative in a vacuum. True expression can only be fulfilled when we share in it,” Steele happily expressed.
If anyone is interested in seeing some of the winning pieces, as well as the other works of art, they are still being displayed in the Marlin Gallery. The hours are listed on the door.