Students showcase individuality, representation with art

The art students used a distinct variety of mediums to express themselves and their messages, from paintings and drawings to statues and sculptures.

Personality, diversity and meaning shined through the work of the students from Shippensburg University’s Art and Design Department during its 40th annual “Student Art Exhibition,” which held its opening reception on April 28 in the Kauffman Gallery. 

A panel of judges reviewed 155 pieces of art for three hours, then narrowed it down to 72 pieces from 38 artists to display in the exhibit. The judges included Deborah Sigel, chair and professor of ceramics at Millersville University, and Brant Scheller, professor of printmaking at Millersville University. 

SU art and design professor Michael Campbell recognized the students who received the cash awards for their pieces during the reception. The first place Best of the Exhibit recipient that won $500 was Dylan Yoos for his mixed media sculpture. The sculpture contained a taxidermied rabbit that was altered into a half-robot and surrounded by pieces of army toys. 

Kayla Brown - Multimedia Editor
Two students investigate a taxidermized jackrabbit with plastic pieces attached to it. The rabbit is part of Yoos’ message that humans are destructive.

Winning the second place award for $400 was Laura Weikel for her digital illustration and Yousef Almarshoud won the third place title and $300 for his embroidery pieces.  Almarshoud’s artwork included three empty Marlboro cigarette boxes, that were all stitched with images that represented his emotions.

Another one of Almarshoud’s pieces called “Reality of Being Alone” had two different sides. The front side of the image was an embroidered sunny beach that represented the times that he likes to be alone, which he called “Paradise.” The other side depicted the part of being alone that was more subdued, which was titled “Even Lonewolves Cry for Help.” 

Almarshoud’s third piece named “If I Die I’m a Legend” was inspired by a Drake song, but also represented his feelings toward smoking cigarettes. 

“I see it as beauty — the smoke. The smoke is beautiful but it’s deadly,” Almarshoud said. 

Among the other slew of awards given to the artists during the reception included honorable mentions, which awarded four students a $100 prize. 

The 2-D Merit Award winner was Kathryn Harris and the 3-D Merit Award winner was Kevin Hess.

Receiving the Mixed Media Merit Award was Isaac Gudgeon for his piece that represented child sex trafficking. It consisted of three boxes with young girls drawn on each with their bodies crouched as their hands are bound in front of their legs, their eyes covered and tied with a money tag. Stamped on top of each box was the word “PAKISTAN.”

Lastly, winning the William D. Davis Memorial Award for Drawing was Katrina Rucker. The judges said they liked the personality and individuality of the piece.

Other standouts from the exhibit included Mitchell Kline’s “Safety First” metal piece. It was crafted like it could have been used as the hands for the Tin Man character from the Wizard of Oz, or maybe even Edward Scissorhands, but without the scissors.

Liana Culbertson’s “Growing, Pain” was also attention grabbing. This piece depicted the artist in several different images — representing her coming to terms with who she is and what she feels emotionally. Different versions of her are drawn in this charcoal on paper piece by showing a different emotion and the images displayed were eerie, realistic, symbolic and powerful. 

The “Student Art Exhibition” will remain on display from April 28 through May 9. The exhibit can be viewed during gallery hours from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Thursday, or by appointment.

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