Art students gain knowledge and experience in CAG

Students observe artwork made by students in the Contemporary Art Gallery's latest exhibit. File Photo/The Lion's Roar

Students exhibited their artwork during the “Juried Visual Arts + Design Student Exhibition.”

Senior art major Victor Betancourt Linares explained why he decided to participate and why other students should as well.

“I participated in the exhibition because I thought it would be a great way to display my work to others outside of class,” said Betancourt Linares. “I feel the exhibition is a great way to display the work that students do in the different areas of art. It gives us a chance to see what everyone else is working on.”

Exhibiting artists were awarded for their artwork at the juried exhibition. Betancourt Linares won Best in 3D Graphic Design with his project that featured a fictional tea company named Aromata.

“The packaging consisted of four square boxes with patterns of different colors on the outside,” said Betancourt Linares. “The inside of each box had a different pattern depending on the type of tea. I felt proud that my work was recognized.”

Senior art major Mariah Adams participated because this is her last semester and final opportunity before graduating at the end of the spring semester. She felt this experience helped her understand that her work is worth the title of Best in Theatre Design.

“I light designed for the production ‘She Kills Monsters’ last semester, and I won Best in Theatre Design,” said Adams. “I really couldn’t believe it. I looked at the others in the theatre design program, and I just knew how hard they had worked on their projects. I was so honored, and I still am.”

This exhibition helped Adams escape her mentality of feeling like her work was not good enough and understand that she can have a career that she loves.

“To see that an outside source deems it worthy enough to be Best in Theatre Design gives me a push to go further,” said Adams.

Senior art major Abigail Coleman discussed her piece “Devils’ Remnant,” which won Best in Show and Best in Sculpture. She explains what elements she may have altered following the submission of both of her pieces.

“Both of my pieces in the show were inspired by types of material weathering and rock formations such as ‘Devils’ Remnant,’ which was directly influenced by Devils’ Tower,” said Coleman. “There are a few elements of the sculpture I put in the show that I don’t really care for now. A year after I originally made it, I do wish I had made the painting a little larger, yet as a whole, I’m happy with the way the two works turned out.”

Adams offered advice for anyone who wants to participate in an exhibition.

“It’s a hump that you’re just going to have to conquer,” said Adams. “The worst thing that happens is when your work doesn’t get accepted. Big deal. There’s always going to be another show, and your work is going to be better than the last. Right? If you never try to ride a bike but you dream about all the time, you’re still never going to be able to ride a bike.” 

Adams explained that a student should not end their college career with ‘what ifs.’

“‘What would it have been like if I did enter?’” said Adams. “‘What if my work did get accepted? What if my work won best in show?’ I believe that is worse than getting rejected, wishing you could have done awesome things, but letting fear win instead.”

Coleman described her feeling of accomplishment towards winning her awards with “Devils’ Remnant.” 

“Having submitted to the show every year, I have been in attendance at the university with no awards to show for it,” said Coleman. “I felt very accomplished and proud to have my work recognized in that way.”

The exhibition, which features these three artists and many more, will be available for viewing in the Contemporary Art Gallery until Mar. 29.