The art and design department opened its annual contest exhibition of student artwork today in the Dexter building.

Students entered pieces that appear in five categories ranging from two-dimensional studio and three-dimensional studio, graphic design, photography and freelance entries. Students were able to enter up to five pieces in the show, however not all the pieces entered were selected.

“We have really good work from all areas (of art and design)” said Nara Lee, a coordinator for the project and art and design senior.

Only students in the art and design department were eligible to enter pieces in the freelance category, which is work not completed in a Cal Poly art class.

“There are many more pieces in this show than in others,” said Christine Kuper, Cal Poly’s University Art Gallery coordinator.

Pieces range from silver jewelry to projections on the wall. The show divides the gallery into three major sections: graphic design, photography and studio art. Students will be able to handle certain graphic design works, like bound books.

Kuper called the show a “splendid demonstration for students to know what’s going on in the next classroom.”

An added bonus for art and design students is that their accreditation board, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design will review the exhibit.

Each year the department selects a different panel of local judges from the community for the competition. This year the judges came from Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

“Some of the pieces were well put together and well thought out, said judge Missy Reitner with iii Design, a local design firm. She said that judging the contest was “the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

Every year the exhibit takes on a new title and this show’s title is “State Funded,” a titled selected by students in the art and design department.

“It’s to see what we can do with nothing,” said art and design junior Leonard Bessemer. “We don’t get any money but we still create radical things.”

Bessemer has five pieces on display in the competition, including an instillation piece (a non-permanent sculpture), a poster and three photo works.

The art and design department celebrates the event tonight with a reception and awards ceremony.

The free event runs through April 26 in the Dexter building, room 171.

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