The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Visiting John M. Anderson Lecturer Serves as Juror for Undergraduate Student Exhibition

The Penn State School of Visual Arts (SoVA) Undergraduate Juried exhibition, Mise-en-scène, is on show at the Edwin W. Zoller Gallery through Friday, November 16. An opening reception on November 5 included an award presentation featuring two best-in-show scholarship awards from the Kara D. Berggren Scholarship Fund and three merit awards. Ricky Bardy, an art education sophomore, received a $500 scholarship award for his extraordinary 58-minute hand-drawn animation, Create, as did Victoria Buchler, sculpture senior, for her enigmatic mixed media figurative tableau, Untitled. Those receiving $100 merit awards included Samantha Bachman, ceramics senior, for her ceramic and mixed-media work, Untitled; Ashley Eyster, sculpture senior, for her found wood, yarn, hemp, and tiger lilies sculpture, Trunk; and Danny Farell, drawing and painting junior, for his oil and mixed-media painting, Untitled. Those in attendance at the opening agreed that this year’s exhibition showcases a variety of strong, individual undergraduate artworks in a variety of media. Through the support of the John M. Anderson Endowed Lecture Series, each year SoVA invites nationally and internationally recognized artists and curators to serve as jurors for the undergraduate exhibition. This year Virgil Marti, a Philadelphia-based artist, served in this role and offered the following comments in response to the students' work: Selecting work for an exhibition by a number of artists based on seeing only one example from each is a particular exercise. It’s rather like an audition, where all the performers are doing their best to show off their chops—and the casting director’s job is to imagine what each will bring to their roles as part of an ensemble. Looking at a more extensive body of work can provide clues to an artist’s bigger concerns. But without that information, artistic intentions can sometimes be difficult to discern—leaving things open to misinterpretation. That’s often what happens when we make something and release it into the world for others to see. Makers can never be sure that viewers will see things the same way that they do. With this in mind, I make no claims that my own idiosyncrasies and predilections have not been foregrounded. I was compelled to pay attention to the specific object at hand. Is it rough-hewn or finely crafted? Overtly emotional or quiet and reserved? What are its unique qualities and how might it perform and engage with other singular works? Determinations like these guided my selection. The works in the gallery are arranged to encourage thinking about the harmonies and dissonances between them. Visual and conceptual echoes help organize the space. Each object is allowed to shine on its own, while at the same time serving as a counterpart, counterpoint, or background to something else. There is no set path. I like work that allows room for viewers to come to their own conclusions—that poses questions and doesn’t claim to hold all (or any) of the answers. For me, what the works on view here share is an investigation of what it means to draw, or what might constitute “drawing.” They are about looking and thinking and recording and translating and finding form by any available means. -Virgil Marti Images from top include: Victoria Buchler, Untitled; Ricky Bardy; Create; Ashley Eyster, Trunk; Danny Farell, Untitled; Samantha Bachman, Untitled