:: Student juried art show draws a crowd
A.L.E.—Artists Leading Elon. This slogan publicized around campus and adorned on the bright, yellow shirts of organizers denoted this year’s student juried art exhibition. On Nov. 5, student artists, faculty members and interested art viewers gathered for the opening of the student gallery showing.

Housed in the art facility at Elon West, 79 pieces of student creation will be displayed until Nov. 27. Picked from a pool of approximately 140 submissions, these student pieces cover a range of mediums including ceramics, digital photography, sketches and a variety of paint media.

The selection of pieces for the show was made by Burlington artist Kate Kretz. Kretz’s own work in painting, drawing and fibers have been displayed in many different parts of the country including New York, Florida and Massachusetts.

Serving as juror for this exhibition, Kretz not only selected which pieces would be included in the show, but spoke at the exhibition opening as well. After addressing the audience, she announced her pick for the Juror’s Choice selection—the prize for the first place entry, which went to senior Megan Coyle.

Coyle also helped organize the exhibition. As a project for Michael Fels’s professional practices in art course, Coyle and her fellow students took on the challenge of setting up the entire art exhibition.

“I’ve learned a lot from this event,” Coyle said. “I’ve realized the different elements that can be involved with an exhibition, how in order to have a successful one, the management of space, the turnout of people, the way a reception is approached, the selection process of the artwork, are all important in shaping a wonderful atmosphere in a gallery.”

This knowledge gained from experimental learning reflects many of the course objectives in Fels’ class.

Professional Practices in Art is meant to prepare artists and art students for the professional world. Within the course, students develop an understanding of different types of exhibition, they learn how to present exhibition proposal, to prepare artwork for presentation, and how to organize and install exhibitions. All these proficiencies are in addition to more individualized skills like developing resumes and researching post-college opportunities.

Fels gives his students 100 percent control when it comes to the organization of the exhibit.

“Of course I guide them with the correct questions to ask, etc,” Fels said. “But inevitably it’s all theirs.” And as in the past, he was impressed with the results of the exhibition. “We always see things that could have been done differently, or better, but in the end, the experience that they gain is invaluable.”

Besides the experience the students in Fels’ class gained from organizing the event, pleasure the student artists receive is also evident.

Sophomore Nichole Rawlings submitted entries into the exhibition. One of her pieces, a chalk pastel entitled “Secretariat,” was chosen to hang in the exhibit.

“It was an honor to be chosen,” Rawlings said. “Being in the art department, knowing what kind of amazing work is out there, it was really exciting to be picked. There was some great competition, and it’s definitely an honor because this was an actual juror selection and someone else came in and selected my work.”

Coyle summed it up best, “I think the show is great because it consists of such a variety and it has so many pieces in it. It isn’t a typical themed exhibition or one that just displays the artwork of a couple of artists. Students will be able to see what styles and techniques are being explored on campus and the creative capabilities of their peers.”

Taking the trip down Haggard to the art building to see this exhibit is definitely worth the while. Elon students have some fantastic artistic talent, and this exhibit does a great job displaying it.

Reporter: Amanda Kennison - 11/14/07