The 2014 Honors Program Art Show displayed the talents of 26 Honors students at Ferris State University. Robert Barnum, who has been a professor of Fine Arts at Ferris for over 20 years, was chosen to judge this year’s show. When questioned how he was going to judge each piece, he replied, “Do two people have the exact same taste in music? No. You see, art is the same way. It speaks to everyone differently. You just have to look at it and see what speaks to your soul.” Both the crowd and the juror had the opportunity to decide which pieces spoke to their souls, resulting in two entries that won the titles of Judge’s Favorite and Crowd Favorite.
Alyssa Jenkins, who’s entry “Untitled” wasn’t even originally on the ballot, won the Crowd Favorite. She was pleased with the way her charcoal piece turned out, but wasn’t sure if viewers would feel the same way. “I attempted to show how much emotion can be displayed just in the body, without the help of facial expressions,” she explained, when asked about the reasoning behind her work of art.
To aspiring artists, Alyssa advises, “Find your style, and push yourself. Find what’s important to you and put it in your work–if it doesn’t make you feel anything, your audience isn’t going to either.” Alyssa succeeded in getting a reaction from her audience, and a very positive one at that.
Robert Barnum selected Amy Jackowski’s piece entitled “Trust” as the Judge’s Favorite. Amy, who had never worked with oil paint before, was very surprised to hear she had won. “I wasn’t so sure it was even mine, so I just kind of stood there for a second… and they had to call it again before it actually registered.”
“I had had the idea to recreate it in the back of my mind for a while after having seen the photograph by Moritz Aust, a German Photographer whose works I greatly admire.” Hearing about the Honors Art Show was her motivation to finally create her piece in a way others could see it. “Art is one of the best forms of therapy out there, and sometimes to be able to portray what you can’t put into words on a canvas is exactly what you need,” Amy described about her artistic inspiration. Upon being requested for some encouragement to aspiring artists, Amy stated, “Don’t let anything ruin your love of art, because it can be as much a part of you as your lungs, and you certainly can’t live without those.”
Even though only two of the many artists had the opportunity to be selected for awards, each of the 26 artists who submitted works of art beautifully represented the Ferris State Honors Program at the Seventh Annual Honors Program Art Show.
This article was written by Endeavor staff member Hailey Klingel.