Some students’ disappointment grows as art

This year’s Annual Juried Art Show is causing quite a buzz around the art department.

The show is the yearly exhibition that encompasses all the different types of work produced by art students each year.

Students were encouraged to submit a few gallery-prepared pieces of their current work.

After all the works were submitted, a gallery committee of three Sam Houston State University art professors, Rebecca Finley, Brian Benfer and Matthew Guest, made preliminary cutbacks of the work due to the quantity.

Photography professor Finley said, “The three of us went through all the work and for each piece we had to come to a consensus.”

But some art students seem to be disappointed with the selection of the work.

One junior art student, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “Compared to the all the pieces that were submitted, the show does not honestly represent the art students of Sam Houston.”

Photography student Axel Murillo said, “While I think that their intent was to put on a professional show, they ended up shutting out 90 percent of the incredible creativity on campus. It just seems more than unfair.”

Last year’s show accepted all pieces submitted, and the walls of the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery were occupied from top to bottom.

Chair of the gallery committee and ceramics professor Brian Benfer said, “Past juried shows have been typically overhung and this year we wanted to clarify the show visually by giving the good pieces the space they deserve.”

“We on the gallery committee want to teach students what a proper exhibition space looks like; you need space for the eyes to rest,” said Benfer.

Chair of the art department Sharon King said, “The intent of the show is to allow students to visually understand how professional galleries and museums are hanging art work. The show was greatly edited in hopes that students will learn to understand the editing process of exhibitions.”

According to King, one of last year’s jurors said that the show was “a visual overload” and that is was difficult for any individual piece to stand out.

Others students are content with the current pieces chosen for the show.

Junior art student Evan Adam said that expectations of the show only elevated the pieces that made the cut.

Junior photography major Sarah Willy said, “I feel honored that one of my pieces got in the show. I know some people are upset but I think that it is now more of a privilege to actually get in the show.”

Finley added, “We are trying to raise the standard and make getting in the show more meritorious.”

Art student Leah Fecteau is organizing “Rejected: A Student Art Show” for all the pieces that did not make it in the juried show.

Fecteau said, “The Annual Juried Art Show is not just about the scholarships and awards; it’s about allowing friends, family and the public to see what students have been producing throughout the year.”

The rejected show is based upon the “Salon des Refuse,” a historic tradition, which was created by displeased French artists whose artwork was not included in a juried exhibit. The rejected pieces are exhibited so the public can compare the juried show to the “refuse” show.

Entries for the rejected student art show begin April 17-19. All pieces must have been rejected by the juried show. The opening will be the evening April 20 (same as the juried show) and Fecteau is asking for volunteers to help hang the show. Anyone interested can contact her at

Finley said, “I think it’s fabulous that students are putting on a “Salon des Refuse;” anything that gets people fired up about art is great!”

The Annual Juried Show’s reception is April 20 at 5 p.m. in the Gaddis Geelsin Gallery. Awards and scholarships will also be announced that evening.

Leave a Reply