The Student Art Exhibition opened Wednesday, April 15 to show off the works of students this past academic year in the Brauer Museum of Art. The exhibit features works of students from the various studio and digital art classes offered at Valpo. The pieces were selected by the professors of the classes based on which ones showed the most skill and growth according to the faculty, and museum director Gregg Hertzlieb.

The reception opened several programs in the Brauer and drew a sizeable audience. Hertzlieb opened the event with gratitude toward the generous donors who fund art in the museum and the students who assist in museum operations.

Following the introduction of the various pieces on display in the museum, Hertzlieb congratulated all of the students on their efforts and accomplishments. The ceremony also included the presentation of several awards chosen by individual donors, Associate Curator of the Brauer Gloria Ruff and Art Department Chair Aimee Tomasek. The awards recognized particularly strong works and were funded by donations.

Winners included various uses of media and included students Alexa Shatz, He Wu, Candace Watters, Kelsey Larson, Kira Master, Feng Li, Ashley Montelongo, Marissa Schmidt, Anna Hayden-Roy, Christopher Ludwig, Eileen Carmignani, Brittany Stumpf and Cora Veltman.

When asked about her perception of the awards portion, Veltman responded, “for someone else to look at your art and say that it’s worth something is gratification that you’re doing it right.” Her winning work was a printed work of graphic design that took a letterform and iterated and modified it in an artistic fashion.

Another student artist, Candace Watters, whose piece “The Crab Has Left the Bucket”, a print of a crab leaving a bucket, said she doesn’t “care much about the money” and “is just happy to have won something,” noting she was not expecting to win anything, nor was she aware of the existence of awards.

Each class instructor chose 10 pieces from their respective classes. The purpose is to show recognition of the hard work students have put forth into their artwork throughout the year.

While past shows have focused mostly on traditional artwork with some graphic design, this year’s exhibit features some videos from students have been working on web design, video creation and other digital forms of artwork.Traditional media shown included jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, painting, drawing and photography.

Another student artist whose work was displayed, art minor Maria Elgendi, said her teacher came up to her and asked her to bring her piece so it could be in the exhibit. Regarding her feelings about it being in the show, she responded “I’m very happy with it, I’m very proud of it.” Her piece, “Pod”, came from her ceramics class and is based on a leaf pod.

Part of the appeal draws from being able to relate not only to the artwork but to the young people who created the artwork, according to Hertzlieb. People come to see the art and then also to see what is being created by the Valpo students.

The exhibit runs until May 10 in the Brauer Museum of Art. A complete listing of works and artists as well as awards can be found in the exhibition program.

Contact Nichole Smith at torch@valpo.edu.

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