This year, the Art SEPC decided to restructure the end of the year student show, formerly called the Salon, by organizing the Bachelor of Arts Exhibition.
“Our goal in redesigning it was to focus more on post-Grinnell and how this show can really help build portfolios, add lines to your resume and help people develop a professional showing of their art [and an] understanding of how to show art in a professional setting to the real world,” said Art SEPC member Christopher Squier ’13, who is also Web Editor for the S&B.
The exhibition will reside in the Faulconer Gallery from April to the first week of May. Last Friday was the BAX opening during which juror Markus Haala announced the winners he chose for the awards. On Saturday, Haala spoke about his career and shared his work in printmaking. Clint Williamson ’13 and art SEPC member Caleb Neubauer ’13 presented musical performances on Sunday night.
In previous years, students of all class years were allowed to submit a piece to the Student Salon and then a juror would come and select pieces to be showcased. For BAX however, students submitted proposals for work to hang in the gallery—not all pieces were necessarily complete at the time of submission. This time around, the exhibition was limited to third and fourth-year students.
“This was a significant change to propose to the department in terms of what we want out of the BAX and what their students can expect,” Neubauer said. “We want this to be a pedagogical initiative, too.”
The Art SEPC, Faulconer Gallery staff and Art faculty then reviewed and selected proposals.
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“We were really looking for people who had thought out a proposal, put conceptual effort and craft into their work, and had created a proposal that was nonhazardous to the gallery,” Squier said.
“Another element that we were interested in was allowing for more site-specific installations and, in my case, performances,” Neubauer said.
Some of the awards were the Juror’s Merit Henely Awards, the SGA Purchase Prizes and the Inez Louise Henely ’14 Best in Show.
Colin Brooks ’13 was the winner of both an SGA Purchase Prize and the Tammy J. Zywicki ’93 Memorial Prize for Photography for “Into Seattle”, a gelatin silver print and “6 Months at Krumm #2”, a C-print & negative, respectively.
“What I like about photography is that it brings us closer to the world around us, both in forcing the photographer to get out and experience a place or moment or feeling, and in offering a reflection of some truth about reality to the viewer,” Brooks said. “[My goal was] bringing a little piece of these experiences that mean something to me to someone else.”
In this new design, the role of the juror changed to select the pieces to receive the awards.
“With the change, we had the opportunity to actually bring [Haala] here and interact with students a lot more [than] in the past,” Squier said.
Haala described his work in printmaking and showcased his own art collection, which was followed by a Q&A session. He shared how he started his career and eventually opened up his own print shop.
“I would just like to spark some thoughts [because] you learn a lot of things [in college], but [students should learn] how to apply those the risky way, show something; maybe show something that’s unusual,” Haala said.
This year’s new structure allowed more flexibility in submissions and exploration in interdisciplinary works.
“I dipped very heavily into the music side in terms of my performance,” Neubauer said. “I have arguments for it being a visual experience, but in many ways, it is rooted in sound and so via collaborating with actual musicians and songwriting as a craft, those elements were not really something that I could have applied to Salon with … [but] how flexible [BAX is] now … allowed my experience to happen.”