Skidmore College art students are known for their talent, and the best opportunity for them to shine comes in the form of student-only exhibits.
The current juried student art show, which contains a variety of mediums, is especially heavy on painting and sculpture, and is judged by Brooklyn-based artist Dawn Clements.
Clements said in her artist statement that the winning works were not necessarily the pieces that showed the most talent, but "expressed and communicated a sense of strong point of view through process and product, medium and meaning, forms and content."
There was no shortage of creativity in the selected pieces.
Senior Ashton Fruella's "Beanie Grenade" is made almost entirely of unstuffed Beanie Babies glued onto a green felt "grenade." The concept is interesting, and I could only wonder what gave him the idea. But this was not the only work that used unusual materials.
Junior Galen Odell-Smedley's "Snowball Vessel" is a tall, cylinder made of ceramics, metal salts and oddly, snowballs. I have to wonder how the snowballs were used in this, but the mere idea is very interesting and thought-provoking. The texture of the piece is smooth but looks rough to the eye, and the piece is covered by black spackling and rust-colored bands, which help define the shape.
While "Snowball Vessel" has a very smooth texture that uses strategically-placed paint to provide texture, "Untitled," a sand-and-oil on masonite piece by senior Olga Ramsey, is very forward with its rough, grainy texture. The work looks almost like what you might imagine the surface of another planet to be like, and its texture is intensified by the choice of color palette, which contains golds, reds, browns and blacks. The different heights of the sand creations also add depth to the award piece, which received the Allerdice Building Supply Award.
The entry that won the Schick Gallery Award (Best in Show) was senior Mariel Harari's "Armor," which consisted of three pieces - a vest, a bracelet and a ring. The works were made of silver, brass, onyx and plastic-coated copper. There is incredible intricacy in the pieces, all of which were incredibly well-thought out and clearly time-consuming. The plastic coating gives certain pieces a bright feel, and the vest in particular is heavy on color. The vest has a wire-weaving pattern that also shows on the bracelet and ring, but unlike its counterparts, is also is detailed with a spiral-themed pattern that adds additional intricacy.
While I always love attending the Schick's exhibits, I am especially impressed with the student exhibits. Young artists always have an incredibly fresh take on things, and they can be more innovative than some of their more-seasoned contemporaries.
This exhibit is no exception to the rule, and I hope some of these budding artists will stay local after graduation and enhance our regional arts scene.