A myriad of award-winning student paintings, photographs and sculptures are now on display in the University Art Gallery.

Cal Poly’s annual Juried Student Exhibition, which will be on display until May 1, features the very best of Cal Poly’s student artwork.

The juried show is an annual event in which students submit artwork, created for any art and design class to be judged by notable experts.

“You get to be in a show that’s really spectacular,” gallery coordinator Jeff Van Kleeck said. “This is really nice work in here and it’s really competitive.”

The exhibition is titled “State Funded” with each piece of art being judged in of four separate categories, including 2-D studio, 3-D studio, graphic design and photography.

The art was judged by Connie Hwang, the assistant professor in the school of art and design at San Jose State University, and Laura Meyer, an assistant professor of modern and contemporary art at Fresno State University. The curator for the exhibit was Cal Poly’s Elizabeth Adan.

Wining this year’s award for the 2-D studio was Damion Bailey, a studio art senior, for his painting of two mixed martial art fighters titled “Re-fractured.” Runner-up was art and design senior Ashley Wertheimer with “Taming the Gods.” Damon’s work was a stunning portrait of two fighters grappling with each other. The contact made from one fighter’s glove to the other fighter’s face was the epicenter of a color explosion.

“I wanted to approach violence in such a way… so that it’d be a topic of interest.” Bailey said. “So regardless of whether or not you have a distaste for violence, you can at least acknowledge the interest of the piece.”

Art and design junior Clayton Beltran won the 3-D studio with his sculpture titled “I firmly resolve…” Taking second place was fellow junior art and design major John Dixon’s “Sunday Morning.”

“I got a lot of positive feedback (beforehand) so I was thinking it was going to make the show,” Beltran said. “I was pretty surprised when it won.”

His piece was essentially a portable confessional that fit over the head of the subject and was inspired by Beltran’s Catholic upbringing.
“A lot of times I try and resolve some of my issues through my art,” Beltran said. “It’s kind of comedic but at the same time it deals with being exposed and vulnerable.”

In the graphic design category art and design senior Amanda Wallace’s “The Unconventional Oddities of San Luis Obispo” took first while senior art and design senior Chris Hall’s “RIT #1” taking second.

Wallace put together an eccentric travel book which highlighted the lesser know, “hot spots” of San Luis Obispo.

“I’ve been around San Luis Obispo County for most of my life,” she said. “The whole point of the travel guide was to point out some of those ‘random off things’ that maybe you wouldn’t really know about unless you were talking to a local.”

In the photography category Hall again placed and this time won with his work “Still Gaze-Dave.” Finishing second was art and design senior Trevor Ingraham’s ‘Burning.’

“It’s great, it’s my first time in here and I plan on coming back,” engineering sophomore Santiago Caceres said.

Van Kleeck also said that visiting the art gallery would be beneficial to students.

“The average student (upon their visit) might find some new ideas, some new visuals and some new ways of thinking,” he said. “I always like to say that art is the hotbed for innovation.”

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