The School of Art and Blaffer Art Museum were packed with students, families and friends for the Annual Student Exhibition and Open Studios.
On Friday more than 100 students from the competitive UH Arts block program showed their work in Blaffer, while simultaneously the School of Art opened its studios and classrooms for more students to showcase their work.
“The turnout was way better this year,” sculpture senior Victoria Hurst said. “This time around, I feel like there were way more people, students and different types of media. It’s exciting to see a variety.”
Friends and families showed up to support their loved ones. Some brought bouquets and snapped photos. In equal support, the student artists themselves enjoyed the opportunity to see their peers’ works.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for art students to display their work in a professional gallery setting and also to be able to share that experience with their friends, family and community members,” said art senior Bidita Paprie.
For many visitors, this event was not only an opportunity to admire students’ art but also a chance for visitors to take a peek behind the scenes at where the art is being created.
In an open-house style atmosphere, visitors caught rare glimpses of the student studios. Walking past the studios, one could see the materials employed by students, cutouts of inspirations and sketches, scraped artworks and works in progress, as well as works available for purchase, with many students handing out their contact information for buying art.
Additionally, many art students took the opportunity to exhibit works that were not included in the Blaffer show. The Blaffer show was limited to students in the block program, but students who were general studies majors or block students with more than one piece exhibited their works in the studios.
“It’s pretty interesting. It’s really nice to have these types of events, especially when people are about to graduate,” said photography senior Maria Garcia Estevez. “It’s nice to have friends, family members and people from the School of Art to come look at your work. I think that’s important, and you don’t get to see that as much during the year.”
The student art show will remain open in Blaffer through May 10. The studios, however, will not be open to the public. Visitors will have to wait until next year to take another peek behind the students’ curtains.