The League of Striving Artists had an opening reception for its fifth annual exhibit on Feb. 16 at 5 p.m.
Titled Left, Right and Everything Between, pieces centered largely on political issues. There were over 70 pieces of student artwork entered and 59 selected for the gallery.
“It’s more of a political thing where people can talk about their own views a little bit and put their voice out there,” said senior graphic design major and LSA president, Tyler Allen about the gallery’s theme. “We wanted to encourage a comfortable environment where there aren’t arguments, just people discussing the artwork.”
Works of every medium were included and covered topics such as fracking, justice, patriotism and more.
“I thought it was a pretty nice exhibit. Part of what makes it so strong and exciting is that it’s completely put on by the student organization,” said LSA faculty advisor and associate professor of art, Jason Stout.
The organization handles all aspects of the event including planning, hanging the work and arranging the show, organizing the opening, doing matting and photo workshops and selecting the juror. Planning begins in late October.
To prevent bias, a juror is brought from off campus. This year’s judge was Nick D’Aquisto.
A UTM alumni, D’Aquisto has a Masters of Fine Arts in photography and teaches at the extension Selmer Center. He was also the show’s first photography judge.
“We try to change it up so everyone, depending on what they’re good at and what they’re not good at, has a chance to win,” said senior graphic design major and LSA public relations officer, Christian Holland.
The guest artists, like D’Aquisto also work with students and give experience-based advice.
“It’s important that our freshmen and newer students show work. That’s an important part of resume building…,” said Becca Toungette, LSA secretary. “It’s a good opportunity for them to exhibit their work.”
Graphic design major Christina Hobson, for example, was “excited” because she had “never entered in a show before”.
Best in show was given to Summer Bradley, first to Christian Holland, second to Victoria Falcon and third to Kyle Birdswell. Honorable mentions were Clay Palmer, Toungette, Bradley, Rachel Melton and Kaitlin Francin.
The exhibit will be open until Feb. 28 in the Fine Arts Building Arts Gallery.