The annual undergraduate juried show is being held in spring this year because of a heavy exhibition schedule in fall. It was worth the wait. Detroit based artwriter, multimedia artist, and cultural provocateur, Sarah Rose Sharp, served as the juror for the 2018 exhibition. Sarah also presented a John M. Anderson lecture on Tuesday, January 31 as part of her short SoVA residency. This years exhibition featured the work of over twenty undergraduates, and included a range of sculptural media, video performance, photography, printmaking, ceramics, painting, mixed media, and even watercolors with traces of Thai iced tea and cochineal beetle juice. The show is on display in SoVA's Edwin W. Zoller Gallery through Friday, February 16.
Having the juror present at the opening reception was a special treat this year. In her comments about the student work, Sarah talked about crossing paths with the students’ and their ever-changing creative journeys where a meeting of the minds and ideas invariably requires being vulnerable, but always demands honesty.
“I go all over the world looking at art, and getting the chance to visit and look at yours reminds me that there is no substitute for enthusiasm, for trying, for risk-taking. There are some bold and surprising works included here, others that are playful, others that are more quietly self-assured. All of them present a viewpoint, all of them contain a voice. Cultivate that voice. It is yours. Don’t let anyone’s opinion take that away from you.”
The undergraduate juried exhibition is also part of SoVA’s scholarship program and several award winners were selected by Sarah in her role as the show's juror and curator, and presented by Graeme Sullivan, Director of the School. The 2018 Kara D. Berggren Award was shared by Victoria Tayman, for her sculptural and performance submission, and Dani Spewak, for her sprawling canvas, clay and twine floor installation.
Five undergraduate artists were awarded merit awards: Kristina Barr, for her mobile wall piece, Interaction with Thought; Yining Dong, for her enigmatic landscape-portrait, Childhood Memory; Elise Warfield, for her intimate invitation, Beauty-Aid; Leo Wang, for his modified pop icon, Medium Well; and Haven Tucker, for his cast bronze fable, Nature’s Tome.
Graeme Sullivan said, “it is always such a pleasure when we have a large audience of students, friends, faculty, and visitors share the enjoyment of the artworks the students create. Viewing such thoughtful, imaginative and accomplished work continues to remind us that there is always something new to see, and a quirky idea to ponder.” He added his congratulations to all those whose work was selected, and to those who received awards.