Student artists’ work critiqued and celebrated at annual art exhibit

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Sophomore Benton Crider looks at a sculpture on display.
Categories included two dimensional, three dimension and four dimensional.
AUSTIN CANDOR / THE DEPAUW

The work of an artist isn’t easy. It’s tedious, competitive, and often times goes unnoticed by many. This wasn’t the case at DePauw’s Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition. 

“(The show) is one of our most well-attended events of the year,” said Craig Hadley, who serves as the director of Peeler’s galleries and museums. “It gives the DePartment of Art and Art History the opportunity to highlight some of the most creative work coming out of the studio courses, by both majors and non-majors alike.”

The exhibit featured 118 individual artworks by 48 artists. One of these artists was sophomore Claire Ladd, who had two pieces of film photography, "Truth Behind the Mask" and "Sandy Wishes," put on display.

“When I was in high school I had always been fascinated by the amazing images that a tiny camera could produce,” said Ladd. “When I came to DePauw, I saw they had a film photography class and I wanted to challenge myself… It really caught my interest.”

Betsy Stirratt, executive director of the Grunwald Gallery at Indiana University, served as this year’s juror for the exhibit.

“As an artist, teacher, and professional gallery director, it seemed only natural that she would be well-positioned to jury artwork created by our undergraduates,” said Hadley.

Having come down to jury the show in past years, Stirratt has noticed a significant difference between DePauw and IU’s art programs.

Students and community members observe student art work in Peeler Art Center. 
Betsy Stirratt, Director of the Grunwald Gallery of Art at Indiana University,
was the judge for the competition.
AUSTIN CANDOR/ THE DEPAUW

“People here… I really see a connection between the faculty and the students that I don’t see at IU because (it’s) so big,” said Stirratt. “I can really see that the students get individual attention from their faculty... (with) the attention to detail I see in their interactions.”

The selection process was divided into three categories: two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and four-dimensional. Sophmore Mi Li’s won first place for her two-dimensional work "Trap," while junior Brekiesha Weszely’s "Obscured Divide" won first place in the third-dimmensional category. Senior Tayrn Hampton won first place for her four-dimmensional work "Reminiscence" which was presented through a recording on a compact disc.

“I shifted completely into sculpture when I declared my major,” said Hampton. “I wanted to sort of abstract on the three-dimmensional…I was just trying to go a little bit more conceptual with it, and so, to me, it was sort of a three dimensional piece, but I’m glad it was considered four-dimmensional.”

Although only 41 pieces were displayed out of the 118 entires, Stirratt encouraged all student artists to continue pushing themselves, not only in their work with art, but in their education as a whole.

“The great thing about DePauw is you get a really good… liberal-arts education,” said Stirratt. “Building on that, I would say… the students can use that interdisciplinary education that they’re getting, and use that toward making better art. It takes that knowledge of other things.”

For those interested in viewing the artwork, the galleries at Peeler are open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.