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Juried student art show recognizes FSU artists


Maddison Behringer / THE GATEPOST

By Raena Doty

Arts & Features Editor


In an annual Mazmanian Gallery tradition, a juried student art show saw 37 student art pieces displayed and professionally judged by an impartial juror on Jan. 24.


Brian Bishop, professor of studio art, said the juried art show is important because it gives students a chance to see themselves in a professional setting where they get validated by an impartial judge rather than a professor who is able to judge them based on growth as well as skill.


“The best thing about this is, of course - it’s the bravery of putting their work up to be looked at by somebody that’s neutral, right?” he said. “This person is looking at it just looking at the work - not necessarily understanding the effort or the growth that that person’s gone through. So it’s a scary thing to do.”


Tim McDonald, professor of studio art and interim director of the Mazmanian Gallery, said the gallery also gives students the opportunity to begin developing their professional careers.


“It’s kind of like - for a lot of them - their first professional foray,” he said, and added artists who pursue getting their work posted in a gallery professionally may have to submit their work to be juried, so doing it at FSU can act as a trial run for later in their career.


Matthew Bolvin, a junior studio arts major, submitted some of the 100 paintings he was required to create for his watercolor class.


He said all 100 paintings depict transgender bodies so that representation can be made readily available for everyone.


Bolvin added he was in class with Haley Gaskin when she created “Porcelain,” and he was excited to watch it in class as it progressed, which is why it was one of his favorites in the gallery.


Aimee Carrabis, a junior psychology major and another artist featured in the gallery, also made her artwork in an art class.


She said her painting was created for an assignment where she had to draw a reflective surface, so she decided to draw a window in her bedroom.


“It’s actually my favorite part of my room. My dad bought me a candle over Christmas and it made my room so Christmassy,” she said.


Carrabis added her favorite part of being in the juried art show was being able to see all the other artworks in the show, and also that people get to see her work on display.


She added her favorite juried piece was “Touch This Painting” by Lola Castoreno, a vibrant and highly textured painting.


Castoreno said they made the piece because they wanted to test different techniques.


“And I’m interested in the idea of people interacting with paintings, so that then you see what happens over time,” they added. 


They said when they named the painting “Touch This Painting,” they actually intended that as a directive for viewers, and people should actually touch it if they want.


Alexandra Lagoutari, a senior liberal studies major, had two pieces in the gallery: “Untitled” and “Feeling Clean.” 


She said the piece was only called “Untitled” because she forgot to put the name in, but had she remembered, it would have been called “Reminiscent.”


Lagoutari added the painting depicts a trail she and her brothers used to bike together with their dog Nikita who recently died, so it was named in her honor.


She said she made “Feeling Clean,” a giant sculpture of a Q-Tip, because “it was just fun. I thought it was like an odd thing to make into a big form.”


The top three art pieces were chosen and the three students who made the art pieces were awarded with a cash prize.


Alyssa Domrose, junior studio art major, won the third-place prize for a sculpture called “Melancholic.”


She said the Mazmanian Gallery showed her statue on the ground, but she would have preferred it on a pedestal to represent the somber feeling she wanted the piece to capture.


Domrose said the statue is supposed to show “a feeling that you can’t reach, but everyone feels that feeling.”


Carly Paul, a senior communications arts major, won second place with her piece “Self-Reflection,” which she said was incorrectly labeled as “Self-Admiration.”


She said the picture was taken during summer 2023 when she was studying abroad in the Netherlands, and the self portrait was inspired by the self reflection that came with being in a new place.


The first-place winner was Haley Gaskin for her painting “Porcelain.” The painting depicts a toilet from an upward angle with blood visible in the water.


She said she painted the piece as part of an assignment for class where she needed to satirize a social taboo, and the idea “really just came to me.”


Gaskin added she was inspired in part by “Fountain” by Marcel Duchamp, which is made from a porcelain urinal, and said she was considering changing the title of her piece of “Fountain of Youth” - in part in homage to Duchamp’s work and in part because “periods represent youth.”


President Nancy Niemi said she thinks the annual juried show is “essential and tremendous.


“The act of creation in our students, and the level of skill and beauty that they have, is extraordinary. And we have the ability to do that every year, and be recognized by our community and our families, and I think it's wonderful,” she said.

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