Hanna Crowley / Mustang News

The University Art Gallery has student work on display until May 19 for the annual Juried Student Exhibition. A long-standing tradition in the art and design department, the exhibit features student work made from a variety of mediums. From amateur artists to veterans, any student taking art and design classes had the opportunity to submit their work to the gallery.

The gallery hosts original paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos, posters and product designs made by students. The 60 pieces in the gallery were chosen out of 150 submitted to two judges, who picked the works based on quality, attention to detail, execution, presentation and originality. This year’s jurors were Hillary Amborn, founder and creative director of Graphic Design of Seachange Studio, and Emma Saperstein, gallery coordinator at the Harold J. Miossi Gallery at Cuesta College.

“Overall, I think it was a really eclectic mix of styles and looks,” Amborn said. “It was a really good mix of creatively executed pieces, all so unique in their own way.”

The pieces on display range from mixed medium decoupages that use a variety of techniques and materials to large sculptures like a suspended desk and an overstuffed chair bursting at the seams. Some pieces are loud statements, others more subtle
and understated.

A selection of the works on display are for commercial products, either original ideas or re-branding for local companies. Art and design senior Antonio Flamenco has two pieces on display. Both are posters; one showcases a music-sharing app and the other is a new take on sushi restaurant SLO Roll’s branding.

“For SLO Roll it was about taking what they had already established and giving it a new identity,” Flamenco said.

The poster shows Flamenco’s ideas for a new SLO Roll logo, fonts for menus and design templates for an app and website.

“They always insist students submit one or two pieces. The fact that both of my pieces were selected had me really excited, since I only thought one would get in,” Flamenco said.


The gallery held their reception April 20, giving the artists a chance to meet and discuss their works with each other.

“I think every time you do art, you do it so people can see it,” art and design junior Linda Wald said.

Her piece, titled “Overwhelming Greed,” is a painting of a woman with her knees pulled to her chest and her head bowed. The paint faintly covers newspaper clippings with headlines about the economy.

“I never used to like to put my work out in the public eye, but now every chance I can, I do,” Wald said. “I think it is good for all students at Cal Poly to get their work out there and to have it seen because ultimately that is our goal, to be in the public and be making statements out in
the world.”

For some students, the Juried Student Exhibition is a chance to receive feedback. This is an essential part of landscape architecture senior Juliana Welch’s artistic process.

“You always have those opportunities to do more work when you have someone look at it,” Welch said.

On inspiration

Though many of the pieces were class assignments, the art showed depth and thought drawn from the artists’ imagination and expression. Some of the works on display were commentaries on society, others reflections on self-discovery.

Art and design sophomore Grace Wodecki titled her piece “Reflection.” The painting is of a young woman’s face, surrounded by aluminum foil, some of it covering her face.

“The inspiration, or the idea, was of self-reflection and the importance of self-reflections, the importance of being aware of yourself, your being, how you think about things and also the dangers of being too reflective,” Wodecki said.

A sense of pride

For some artists, showing their work at the Juried Student Exhibition led to opportunities to create commissioned pieces. The gallery’s professional atmosphere also serves as validation.

“It feels good to see people look at it and try and figure out what it means,” art and design sophomore Stephanie Indaheng said. “Also, seeing it in an actual gallery, a really professional environment, rather than on a desk or in a classroom
[feels good].”

The University Art Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Juried Student Exhibition will remain on display until May 19.

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