With so many venues closing and many events canceling because of COVID-19, the Westminster College Student Art Exhibition will once again take place, giving art students an opportunity to showcase their art and offering the general public a chance to view and appreciate art in person, according to David Baddley, an art professor and one of the showcase organizers.
The Student Art Exhibition is juried, which means it is open for all students to submit works of art and a juror selects the work for the show. This year’s juror is Paul Reynolds, a local painter, art administrator with the public library system and creator of the “Twelve Minutes Max” series at the Salt Lake Public Library.
“We always have an outside juror come in, and the reason for that is two-fold: One is that we don’t want any students to feel like there is any kind of bias,” Baddley said. “But also, it’s really good for the art students to learn the way the outside [art] world works.”
Artists who submitted works of art for the exhibit shared what it means to showcase their art.
“It’s cool to have real people and faces, being able to interact with the people who are looking at your art and have conversations about it,” said Nyima Ming, a senior environmental filmmaking custom major.
“Actually being in the presence of the work is a really important experience,” Baddley. “You get to see the size of the work, you also get to see how [the art] is made, and you get to see that somebody’s hands were involved.”
Some students said they spend days, even years preparing pieces for the exhibit.
“These photos were kind of spaced out over the past two years, it’s very weather dependent, I think the weather adds a lot of mood,” Ming said of his black and white photograph series “The Living Room,” which depicts the hiking trail of the same name in Salt Lake City.
“I focus a lot on layering these different materials on top of one another to make a complex surface that’s interesting to look at,” said Lucy Wilks, a senior Art major, about the process of their artwork. “I do a lot of pen and marker drawings but recently I’ve added colored pencil and watercolor to a lot of my drawings.”
Wilks said the pandemic helped some art students to expand and explore their creativity.
“I think the pandemic has altered the way that I do art a little bit positively because I’ve spent a lot more time doing art […] because I spend a lot more time at home,” Wilks said.
“I guess the first part of the pandemic was hard but then we kind of realized that […] one of the better places to go if you’re going anywhere, is to go outside,” Nyima Ming said.
This year’s art selections are available to view online on the campus webpage, according to art professor and event organizer David Baddley.
The Westminster Student Art Exhibit started with an opening reception celebration on Monday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. which included refreshments and a first viewing of the juror’s selections. The exhibit will continue through March 18.