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Annual Student Art Exhibition

Posted: 02/12/2010

An enduring tradition well into its fourth decade, the Annual Student Art Exhibition hews to its founding principle: to provide student artists with a real-world experience in the competitive art arena. Toward that end, the exhibition’s juror is always an art professional.

Dawn Clements, an artist who works primarily in drawing and various media on paper, was juror this year. Known for creating large, panoramic works that often shift perspectives and encompass entire exhibition spaces, Clements creates intricately detailed images of her own environment, domestic interiors, or renderings of film or television stage sets, revealing the inner workings of her mind.

At Skidmore this winter, Clements selected 70 works from a record 217 submissions. Works created by students during 2009 were eligible; original ceramics, communication design, drawing and painting, electronic media, fiber arts, metals, photography, printmaking, and sculpture, were submitted. A total of 99 students entered works; 58 are represented in the show.

Nine submissions were designated award winners. Their names were announced at the exhibition’s opening reception, which always draws an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd.

In a statement announcing the awards, Clements explained, “In my selections for the show and the prizes, I am fairly certain I did not always pick the work that demonstrated the most skill….I selected work that I felt expressed and communicated a sense of strong point of view through the process and product, medium and meaning, form and content. Among the work selected and refused, I saw good, promising works, real skills, earnestness, ideas and passion. I think every single one of you felt strongly about what you presented.

“If you believe in what you do and have something to say, keep doing it. It’s as corny and as important as that. Be honest and analytical, listen and question, share and show us. Pay attention to the beautiful and the ugly and what at first may appear to be a failure. Work hard, show and tell it up close, not at a distance. It’s all in you, there to be tapped.”

Photos by Carolyn Raider ’10 and Savannah Grier ’12.