The Rasmussen Art Gallery hosted the annual Student Art Exhibition on Thursday evening, April 14. The exhibition is a showcase for the department of visual arts, receiving 127 entries from in-class work and independent art pieces that included painting, photography, sculpture, and ceramics.
A packed crowd spilled out of the east wing of the gallery and into the foyer as Cheryl Daley, instructor of fine art, presented awards to 39 students across 12 different categories. Small cash prizes were given to students finishing in the top three or receiving honorable mention in each category.
Visitors spent the two-hour opening circulating the room, admiring the student works placed throughout the gallery. “This was my first time entering the art gallery and it was phenomenal,” said Krista Bathan, a junior communication major. “The students here on campus are very creative and did an incredible job.”
Michael McGinnis, the inventor of the 2013 Toy of the Year, the Superplexus, and a former Rasmussen Art Gallery featured artist, judged the exhibition and offered advice to the aspiring artists from afar: “Regardless of your ultimate career goals, make art a part of your lives, both as an expressive outlet of great value and as an aesthetic element in your daily living. Art is a fundamental element of the human condition. Never be afraid to break boundaries, tell your truth, and learn something new.”
He continued, “Some of the paintings, drawings, and ceramics were very skillful and beautiful, but more importantly, most of the projects throughout the gallery represented real introspection and thoughtful engagement by the artists.”
Freshman photography major Sam Delaware’s piece Homeless, Clearlake, California, 2016 placed first in the Documentary & Commercial Photography category. Delaware was hesitant at first to begin bringing his camera on a Homeless Ministries outing. After a couple consistent months of visiting he began taking photos of a married couple. “I’ve taken a series of portraits before but I think this one best represents who they are,” he says. He then took the images from his mid-20th century Hasselblad camera and developed, scanned to a digital file, and framed the images over the next few days.
The department of visual arts provides students the opportunity to present their work to the campus and surrounding community in several capacities. Next month, seniors will present their thesis projects at the Rasmussen Art Gallery, while the Cameo Cinema in St. Helena will host the film and television students film projects from this year. Delaware spoke about his appreciation for the department of visual arts, “When I visited PUC, the department was very well organized and the professors were very knowledgeable about what they do. I was coming from a small high school, and PUC had that small-knit feeling as well, after that it kind of seemed like a no-brainer.”
The exhibition will remain open to the student body and the public through May 4. For more information, including gallery hours, visit the Rasmussen Art Gallery website.