Friday, May 8th, is opening night for the 2015 UM-Flint Annual Student Art Exhibition in the Greater Flint Arts Council Gallery at 816 S. Saginaw Street, Flint. (Many know this building as the one with the Vernors mural on the side!) The Opening Celebration will be held from 6-9pm. This free event coincides with the Second Friday Flint Art Walk and is open to the public.
Says Ben Gaydos, UM-Flint Assistant Professor of Design, “This is a great opportunity for students to showcase their art, and a great opportunity for the public to see what the Visual Arts program at UM-Flint provides to students.”
This year’s exhibition received over 230 entries from art students of all levels, freshman to senior. The show will feature pieces from a wide variety of mediums including drawing, painting, sculpture, design, photography, public art, and furniture pieces. The entries come from a pool of work selected by the faculty of the Visual Arts program.
Chris Waters, Professor of Art and the Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies at UM-Flint, was instrumental in starting the first Student Art Exhibition years ago. When asked about the importance of such an event, she said, “The ability for students to show their work is vital to their Visual Arts education. It is also vital they understand art as a communication and learn if their work is effective in this regard. Having work selected for the exhibition, and then having an independent juror select awards helps students develop critical thinking skills about their own work and that of others while also preparing for what they will be asked to do in their professional careers in art.”
The opening night awards presentation will start at 6:30pm. This year’s juror is Corrie Baldauf of the Eastern Michigan University Art Department.
Several of the awards are related solely to the students’ work in the show: Best in Show, Exceptional Merit, Artist’s Voice, Art History Recreation, and the Patty Morello Award. The exhibition also allows for special recognition by the Chancellor, Provost, College of Arts & Sciences Dean, and a state official as they each select a work that will be displayed in their respective offices.
Additional department awards take into consideration the students’ entire body of work and activities from the academic year. These include Outstanding Civic Engagement, Excellence in Design, Excellence in Painting/Drawing/Print Making, Excellence in Art History, Overall Achievement in Visual Arts, Excellence in Art Education, and Excellence in Photography.
The exhibition will also allow the Visual Arts Program to acknowledge community partners who help enrich and expand student learning. Exceptional partners this year include the Thumb Area Correctional Facility, the Flint Institute of Arts, the GFAC, Davison Community Schools, Applewood Estate, Buckham Gallery, the Flint Public Art Project, the Neighborhood Engagement Hub and Friends of Max Brandon Park. These organizations afford UM-Flint students new venues and expanded experience in displaying their work, opportunities for education and interaction, and a chance to do something meaningful with their processes and pieces.
The Student Art Exhibition will be on display through June 5th. GFAC Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.
For more information, contact Ben Gaydos at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the GFAC at 810.238.6875.
To learn more about the Visual Arts Program at UM-Flint, visit their website.
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