The University Center was buzzing with excitement at the Eighth Annual Honors Art Show on Jan. 30.
The Honors Art Show is usually held in the IRC, but this year debuted in the University Center as a kick off to the Big Rapids Festival of the Arts. The work of 24 gifted Honors students was displayed in the upper level by the multi purpose rooms.
“I went last year, it was the first year I attended, and it was wonderful,” said Susan Hazel Rich, who was this year’s Juror. “It was great to see all types of students making art. And this year is exceptionally wonderful because we’re in this new space. That’s really exciting and there’s a good energy.”
Susan is a professional artist who focuses on graphic design. She owns her marketing company, which specializes in print, web design, logos and branding. Her personal work within her creative company includes a line of stationary and paper goods under the name Hazelmade.
“I think it’s really important just taking the time to express yourself visually, to play around with something, to feel uncomfortable, to feel not good,” Susan said. “Those are all things I feel and I think it’s important; it helps you grow as a person.”
Student attendees noticed the differences between this year’s show and year’s past.
“I’m really impressed by it,” nursing junior Haille Bernson said. “They really expanded it this year. I’m really excited. The setting is more formal, too, like it’s more professional. People are better dressed this year and I like that.”
Not only was the location new, but the artists took their art to the next level with innovations that played with light and texture.
“I like the ones that brought lights in,” secondary history education freshman Shane Flanagan said. “I thought those were really cool. I also like the Etch A Sketch of Barack Obama.”
Haille loved that she was able to relate to and feel something while viewing fellow student’s art.
“My favorite piece was ‘Words Will Set You Free,’” said Haille. “I love to write and I’m a writer myself, so seeing the title really captured my attention.”
This was Shane’s first Honors Art Show, and he was impressed with the fact that students created all the work.
“Obviously if they’re doing this, it’s something they’re really good at and enjoy,” Shane said. “I would love to have submitted something, but I’m not on their level, you know?”
After attendees had their chance to view all the pieces and cast their votes, the Judge’s Choice and Crowd Favorite were announced.
Pre-med sophomore Amy Jackowski was awarded Judge’s Choice for the second year in a row. Her winning piece was an oil painting entitled 1968.
“I just finished it yesterday, and it’s with oil paints so it’s not even dry,” Amy said. “I didn’t even know what I was going to call it at first but as it slowly came together, I just kind of chose a year that was aesthetically pleasing to me.”
Pre-Pharmacy junior Ashley Taylor won Crowd Favorite with her piece Skyline.
“I wanted to convey how vast and brilliant it is,” Ashley said. “I arranged the painting so the sky was surrounding the skylines in the center because I wanted to show how the sky encompasses everything.”
Ashley agreed that this year’s Art Show was definitely one for the books.
“There was a lot of great work this year, which is why I was caught off guard when I won Crowd Favorite,” she said. “You could definitely tell that everyone put a lot of thought and effort into their work!”