April 2, 2009
09-060

Natalie Quinn, Student Intern

VSU Hosts Annual Student Art Competition; Exhibition

VALDOSTA - Nine students were honored for their exceptional talents during the annual VSU Student Art Competition and Exhibition Opening, hosted Monday, March 23, in the VSU Gallery.

Students, faculty and staff, as well as friends and family of the student artists gathered during the opening to appreciate the displayed works, which featured pieces of all mediums, including a life-sized sculpture to a wooden lattice.

Students of any major were allowed to enter four submissions each, which offered a total of 220 submissions into the competition, but guest judge Irene Dodd chose the 62 most impressive for the 3-week exhibition. Nine of these were awarded for creativity, originality and quality.

“The art show this year was highly competitive and Irene Dodd made those decisions based on her own expertise,” VSU Gallery Director Julie Bowland said. "I am very proud of the scope and diversity of the show - it really is the most popular show of the eight the gallery offers per year."

Dodd, having 35 years of experience with photography and painting, chose first through fourth place along with five honorable mentions. First place winner Angela Marafino was given $150 for a black and white photograph titled Familiar; second place winner Chuck Touchton received $130 for his untitled encaustic piece. A third place award of $80 went to John Gay for a ceramic sculpture titled Guitar Man and Andrew Nuse captured a fourth prize of $50 for a photograph titled Lockheed 12.

Whitney Hill, Chelsea Oberender, Brittney Baxter, Brandon McMillan and Aliyah Jones received $20 for honorable mention recognition.
Participating students said their artistic presentations represented their own personal feelings and beliefs.

“I chose the 'Familiar' photograph for the show because it really touches base with my life right now and has a lot of texture, which is one of my favorite things about creating art,” explained Marafino, a senior art major who plans to pursue a graduate degree in ceramics after graduating in December 2009.

”Overall I thought the show was great,” said Marafino. “I was really happy to be included with such a wonderful group of artwork.”

Exhibition will be displayed in the VSU Fine Arts Gallery weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., ending Friday, Apr 10.