The Annual Student Art Exhibition opening reception was held at the CSUN Art Gallery April 29. This year marks the fifth time the show was held in the Art and Design facilities.
The show, sponsored by the Arts Council of CSUN, gave students a chance to submit their works (up to three each) for the opportunity for their work to be displayed.
This year, there were 303 entries. Eighty entries were selected by a panel of three judges to be exhibited, and 15 participants were awarded financial prizes.
With live music by Masanga Mariba Ensemble, the winners were announced by
associate chair of the Art Department, Edie Pistolesi. and gallery director, Louise Lewis.
There were eight honorable mentions given out this year and each were awarded with $25. They were, Angela Bernal, Mona Kasra, Danielle Ashton (twice) John Lee, Christopher Paez, Taeko Sidore, and Betty Whang. Third place and a $75 was awarded to Justin Davis for his piece entitled, “Life was Never What You Thought.” Second place and a $100 award went to Marsha Shaw’s mixed media, “Mapping.”
Winning first place was a mixed media piece entitled, “Unclean.” Derrick Albeck, Jawn Agione, Justin Hansohn, and Davis had to find out how to split their $125 award evenly. And finally, Best in Show and $150 was awarded to Rhonda Magnus for her piece, “At Least Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”
This year’s jury was made up of Wendy Brill-Wynkoop, photographer, Craig Krull, gallery owner and Jeffrey Vallence an artist. Although they were not present at the exhibit, the judges had plenty to say about the winners and the show itself in a Juror’s Statement.
“It was encouraging to see a large number of entries…We understand it took courage to enter one’s work into a competition and would like to applaud all the students who had the courage to do so.”
“We encourage each artist not to just follow current trends, but to truly express one’s personal uniqueness without fear – to guide each soul on the path she or he is already on.”
Gallery director, Louise Lewis had similar comments on the students who submitted their work and won.
“I hope they will continue with their work,” Lewis said. “They have so many options open for them.”
Jawn Agione, who won for “Unclean” along with his three other friends, said that the news was “shocking.”
“It was our first time submitting,” Agione said. “We wanted to work together on something. It was spontaneous. We were just screwing around, and it just snowballed into a massive collaboration. It was amazing that the job worked effectively.”
Justin Hansohn, one of the collaborators, agreed.
“This has totally boosted our confidence,” Hansohn said. “We weren’t expecting first place. We were just doing this for fun.” As for the prize money, Hansohn said that they might just split it three ways, “Since Justin (Davis) already won for third place.”
Mona Kasra, who won honorable mention for her video art piece, “On the Cards,” said she wasn’t even going to make a submission this year, although she usually does.
The show itself was a mix of all genres, including photography, sculpture, mixed media as well as new genres, such as video, sound, DVD and poster design. The guest themselves came from a variety of backgrounds.
Many guests were CSUN students there to support their friends, like Prumell Salva, junior Environmental and Occupational Health major.
When asked what he thought of the exhibit, Salva answered, “I’m loving it! I’ve been here for hours.”
There also were students from other schools and communities. One art student visiting from Thailand, said he was sight seeing and “decided to see student work (at CSUN) to compare Asian and Western styles.”
“(The exhibit) represents the broad range of what we teach here at the university,” Lewis said. “It gives an indication of what’s going on in the art world today, which is anything goes. There’s no one thread that controls it.”
The Student Art Exhibition will be held at the CSUN Art Gallery until June 2. The Galleries are open Monday through Saturday 12-4 p.m.