Despite changes in the jury lineup, Linfield’s annual Juried Student Exhibition opened without a hitch on Dec. 1 at the Fine Art Gallery in the James F. Miller Fine Arts Center.
An appearance by D.K. Row, invited juror visual arts critic for the Oregonian, was canceled at the last minute, but the show continued with three campus judges: Professor of Art Nils Lou, Professor of Psychology Victoria McGillin and Brian Winkenweder associate professor of art history and department of arts and visual culture chair.
“In years past, we have brought in an outside juror, and this year the individual we had selected had a family emergency, so he was not able to make good on his commitment,” Winkenweder said. “He is intending to do something on behalf of our department next semester.”
In this juried exhibition format, all students were invited to submit their art, from which the judges made selections as to what to include in the show.
“[We judges] went around independently of one another and made our own private selections. As it turned out, we had made a collection of unanimous selections without ever speaking to one another,” Winkenweder said.
McGillin said this rare unanimous decision reflected the quality of the work.
“The fact that the caliber of the work was so high that the entire show was filled only with pieces selected by all three jurors speaks to the excellence of the field,” McGillin said in an e-mail.
Although the decision was unanimous, the submissions were extremely diverse.
“This particular show is pretty eclectic,” Lou said. “It explores a lot of media, from sheet metal roofing kinds of constructions to photography, carved wood, plastic caps, ceramics, a DVD and a painting.”
What the judges were looking for in submissions and winners was work that pulled in the viewer, Lou said.
“[The winners] had the most original and strongest statement in their work and were using their chosen media in an original and compelling manner that drew my eye toward them and begged for a sustained viewing, and that’s what the best of art does: kind of capture your mind, your eye, your body and want you to look [at] for a long period, to think. The best work makes you think,” Winkenweder said. “And our winners definitely are producing probative, thinking pieces.”
Junior Gabriel Stallings, whose sheet metal piece received first prize, said winning imparted a feeling of validation to his art.
“It is a justification that you are doing something worthwhile not only for you but that you are sharing an idea that others think is important,” Stallings said.
Senior Arminda Gandara said having her film “Cette Poule” come in second place came as a pleasant surprise.
“I have little experience in digital video and was unsure on how successful ‘Cette Poule’ would be when it was so far outside of my medium: fibers,” Gandara said in an e-mail. “The piece has a lot of personal relevance though, so the recognition was nice.”
Despite this, Gandara did find some fault with the exhibition.
“I was a little disappointed with the exhibition this year,” Gandara said. “Visually, it’s a little cluttered, but above all, I would have liked to have had an impartial juror. As much as I respect the Linfield faculty that did judge the student work, it’s always refreshing to have the opinion of an outside eye.”
Sophomore Chloe Raymond, whose carved wood piece received third place, said it was a surprise and honor to place.
The judges expressed positive opinions regarding the quality and scope of this year’s exhibition.
“I think this was one of the best student shows in my six years of being here, with a tremendous amount of energy and vitality going on,” Winkenweder said. “What the students are making as artists is really remarkable and varying.”
The exhibition will remain on display until Dec. 18. The Fine Art Gallery is open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gabi Nygaard/Staff reporter
Gabi Nygaard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.