Art Reception in the Glass Room

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    Students, alumni, faculty and staff browse the diverse range of art displayed by NEIU students at the Juried Art Exhibition

    A crowd of students, friends, family and art enthusiasts gathered around Prof. Mark McKernin on a Friday evening as he announced the winners of the annual Juried Art Exhibition at NEIU. On April 17, a reception was held to honor all the artists in the competition and recognize some of the best entries.

    “It’s kind of exciting knowing someone is judging your work,” said Jenny Slayers. Others also mentioned the variety they noticed in the art this year not seen in prior years. “It’s a very eclectic show this year,” said Heather Weber, gallery director at NEIU. This year will be Weber’s eighth directing the gallery shows; she directs on average eight shows per year.

    Paul Lempke, who teaches computer graphics, also liked the range of works he’s seen in the show this year. “If you spend 30 years on the computer, you like to get your hands dirty once in a while,” said Lempke about some of his students’ work.

    The winning entries were: best in show, “To Digest” by Amanda Iverson; second place, “Behind The White Curtain” by Blanca Cambray; and third place, “Dust Drawing I” by The Cleaning Crew (Melissa Morris, Erik Cortez and Millicent Kennedy). The honorable mention for 2D was “Birth of Summer” by Farrah Curesco and the honorable mention for 3D was an untitled necklace (metals department) by Maria Lendsey.

    “I like to bring internal and external worlds kind of together,” Iverson said of her work “To Digest,” a ceramics piece assembled and displayed on the wall with an acrylic wash and a wax treatment for skin-like appearance. “My concept is bringing the insides out visually but conceptually bringing the inner worlds in connection with the social worlds,” she said.

    Blanca Cambray, who placed second, was surprised by her win. Her piece was a black and white photograph. She had gotten a friend to grab some baking flour and blow it from her palms toward the camera. Cambray that said the photograph became one of her favorite pieces.

    Melissa Morris and the rest of The Cleaning Crew, who had won third place, felt excited that their piece, a mixed media painting on paper, was among the winning selections. “We’re happy that we placed, and I couldn’t have done it without Erik and Millicent,” said Morris.

    Maria Lendsey who won an honorable mention for 3D said, “I’m excited and in shock.” She said her inspiration was “to make something beautiful out of something very inexpensive.”

    Other artists such as Raluca Pop, displayed screen print and ceramic pieces and said her work was developed spontaneously. “It’s a way of getting your feelings out; your emotions out,” Pop said.

    Octavio Sanchez’s wood sculpture captivated purveyors, some of whom attempted to view the piece from every angle. His piece, titled “Toro,” was the first he had ever made from poplar wood. Painting and drawing, Sanchez said, are his normal mediums. “It’s a very dynamic piece,” he said. “It’s moving, you know there’s a lot of movement and to me that represents me. I’m moving. I’m charging.”

    Although the event featured numerous styles and artistic mediums, Sanchez, among other artists, would have liked to see more artists featured in the exhibition.

    “I would have preferred to see more artists instead of multiple pieces by one artists,” he said. “I would have prefer to see one piece per artist and then give an opportunity to other artists.”

    Art enthusiasts can visit the exhibit while it lasts as it will only be up until April 30, 2015.