Student Art Exhibit: Opinions from the heart

Photo courtesy of Bellevue College Gallery Space

What is the one place at Bellevue College that you will miss the most after you graduate? Everyone has their own favorite, and for more artsy souls, the BC Gallery Space is certainly going to make the cut. Adding to the list of inspiring exhibitions it has held, the BC Gallery Space is going to present the 2012 BC Student Art Exhibit in D271 on June 6 – Sept. 20.

The Student Art Exhibit is a showcase of students’ artworks created throughout this school year. To kick start the months-long exhibition and to honor students who are featured in the show and formally present them to the public, an open reception will take place on Wednesday, June 6, from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. All student artists will be present at the reception to talk to visitors about their work. As with the past receptions the Gallery Space has held, free snacks and drinks will be served and it will be a great occasion for students to get together before graduation.

Currently, curator and BC Gallery Space director Ross Brown is putting together the exhibit with his team, and while they have yet to finalize the number of work shown, like last year, they are anticipating close to 40 showpieces. All pieces shown are quality works that represent the projects different art classes have worked on. The process of selection depends upon the collaborative maneuver of Brown and all the art teachers. “Generally, we look at the work as it is produced throughout the quarter, and if we find work that we think is exceptional, we tend to pull that aside for the student show. Some students bring work and we take a look at it,” Brown explained.

When evaluating and picking pieces from the huge collection of student works, meticulous effort is put in to ensure a diverse enough combination. A great variety are used in the artworks that are chosen for the exhibit—bronze sculptures, light design pieces, pottery, figure drawings, etc—and art classes that have contributed to the exhibit include 2-D and 3-D design classes, painting class, advanced studio drawing class, sculpture class, basic ceramics class and printmaking class. Life size drawings will as well be hanging in the back of the gallery; some of them play around with perception and are distorted so viewers can only see the appropriate form and proportions from a certain angle—a technique used initially by Renaissance artists.

Putting together the Student Art Exhibit is unquestionably a lot of work for both students and faculty, but needless to say, the hard work pays off. The purpose of the Student Art Exhibit is threefold. First and foremost, it is to showcase the amazing amount of talent that is here at BC. Through demonstrating what BC students are able to accomplish, Brown is hoping to remind the rest of the students and faculty on campus that there is every reason for them to take pride in the quality work their fellow students are creating.

For art students, it is also an invaluable opportunity to display their work in a professional space and start building a resume that can prepare them for transfer. “They [art students] want to be competitive, and one way to do that is to build a resume of what you’ve done. Whether you’ve shown in a coffee house, or here [BC Gallery Space]… you want people to know that you are active in terms of what you do. Eventually, that’s what you are going to be doing,” said Brown.

Though they all go to the same art building for class, many art students just see what is going on in their classes and have no idea what other students are doing. They do not know that sculptures are being made in the other room, or that a printmaking class is taking place simultaneously. The Student Art Exhibit, thus, helps students to see the many other ways to make art. Even for non-art students, the upcoming exhibit is very helpful for exploring what classes are available to them in future quarters. In fact, according to Brown, that is one of the reasons why the exhibit is on show through the first week of fall quarter—so that students can get a taste of what different art classes are really like.

When asked about how he would describe the Student Art Exhibit, gallery intern Kevin Chase showed no hesitation in his answer: “Eclectic. Students bring their own perspective on similar topics … and gives a variety of expressions.” Indeed, Chase has captured the essence of the show. What the art students have accomplished this year is truly exceptional and for anyone to graduate without witnessing such achievement is definitely going to be a pity.