By Guest Writer and Emerging Leaders Ambassador, Ashley Chin-Mark.
The Annual Student Art Exhibition (ASAE) has existed for as long as the Department of Art at the University of Utah. Although evolving since the very first exhibition, in which professors’ Alvin Gittins, Doug Snow, Dorothy Bearnson and Angelo Caravaglia were instrumental in fashioning the exhibition. Janine Evans, Executive Secretary and Graduate Assistant explained that the tradition of showcasing student works in the Gittins Gallery renamed after Alvin Gittins when he passed away in 1981 continues today. The 2017 gallery features 60+ works by 42+ artists with purchase values ranging from $50-$1000 each.
The Exhibition Faculty Advisor invites a different juror each year to bestow awards on select student pieces. Evans explains this process:“Initially, the Studio Art Faculty juried the exhibition but realized they were bias and perhaps letting in too many pieces of artwork. This year’s evaluator was the first student juror, Whitney Tasssie. As the Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Tassie brought her extensive knowledge of art selection when judging this year’s entries.” Another exhibition tradition includes the selection of a single student work, by the Dean of the College of Fine Arts, which is then housed in the Dean’s Office. Students, faculty, employees, and visitors who have strolled through this area on the second floor may have noticed these large paintings hanging on the walls or the ceramic sculptures displayed near the entrance.
Another major difference in this year’s exhibition was the appointment of Emina Tatarevic to the role of the Art Student Liason. She is the first Art History student to assume this role. Tatarevic noted that “there is an unintentional degree of separation” that is built between the art emphases due to their distinct course paths. Luckily, as the Art Student Liason, the Undergrad Student Advisory Committee (SAC) Chair of Art & Art History, and an exhibition artist (her needlepoint work is on display in the exhibition), Emma Tatarevic submitted the FAF Grant to help cover the cost of the reception and the juror honorarium, which means she had a “hand in reaching out to the other Art students to facilitate a bit of change” to increase the frequency of interaction, cross-disciplinary awareness, and mutual appreciation across multiple areas of study. Tatarevic graciously explained, “This effort was a collaboration between all art emphases…we are so thankful to FAF Grants for supporting student initiated efforts. The overall experience between the faculty, staff, advisors, and students helps to enrich our time (as aspiring professional artists) here at the U.”
Indeed, the growth of the student artists is visible in the display of drawings, paintings, ceramics, sculptures, and photographs, and in noticing how they uniquely approached their individual subject matters. Art enthusiasts and gallery goers can expect to be exposed to stimulating and startling visuals that will change their perspective of art.
More events and ways to get involved:
Departmnet of Art and Art History
Student Advisory Committee tudent Advisory Committee
@uofufinearts on Instagram and Facebook