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Monday, October 2, 2023


Annual student show boasts variety of art

The 2007 School of Art Annual Student Exhibition showcases the colors and creativity of seniors’ and graduate students’ art, featuring nearly every type of artwork imaginable, each piece as unique as the next.

"We’ve got everything from every major concentration," exhibition designer Kelly Bennett said. "So we’ve got sculpture, painting, print making, photography… we have video… we have a new performance art class this year, and they’re going to actually do performances during the opening."

The School of Art faculty makes the final selection, and two and a half weeks are allowed for installation in the gallery. The numerous pieces completely occupy the gallery’s walls and floor.

"We pretty much utilize any space," Bennett said. "Two hundred twenty-five is kind of a number beyond any show that’s not at the (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston). Even their shows probably don’t get much above 150 (pieces). This is actually a really great opportunity for the art school to just use the space…. It’s always nice to see the departments get together and organize as well as they have this year."

Bennett also said there is a separate space designated for video art this year.

"We don’t usually dedicate an entire space to video, but this year the faculty decided together to block off space," she said. "Video has become such a part of contemporary art now."

Among the artwork featured, there is a studio space decorated with past-due notices from grant money the artist obtained for tuition. Bennett said the student will sit and create drawings inside the studio on opening night.

Emily Sloan, a sculpture graduate student, submitted a piece titled "Matchstick Rug" in the exhibition. It’s composed entirely of safety matches glued on canvas and resembles a rug with "SOS" cut from the middle.

"SOS interests me as a call for help," Sloan said. "I also have memories of writing it in the sand on the beach as a child and wondering if anyone would notice. I made a rug of matches (20,000) to refer to the home and relationships within it."

The wide assortment of artwork represents the diversity and differing styles of contemporary art and includes paintings, jewelry, videos and even a wishing well.

"We try to get everybody represented. It’s pretty cool. It’s nice to see everybody put something together," Bennett said.

Students are allowed to experiment with mediums outside their major or concentration.

"Even though you’re in painting, you don’t have to paint. They’re not real stoic about what they make you do, so it’s kind of nice to see everybody going their own way," Bennett said.

The School of Art Annual Student Exhibition has been held every year since the Blaffer Gallery’s opening in 1973. The opening reception will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, and the exhibition will continue through Dec. 15.

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