The region three K-12 art exhibition is being held in the Valade Gallery at Shipman Library until Feb. 26. This exhibit features kindergarten through 12th grade students’ art from Lenawee, Washtenaw, Jackson and Monroe Counties.
“We’ve been doing this for a while,” said Catherine Royer, professor of art and design. “This is at least the sixth year in a row that we’ve exhibited their art somewhere on campus.”
Teachers from the four counties pick student artwork from all different kinds of media, such as photography, painting, ceramics, and sculpture, to display in the show.
The juror for this art show was Ron Frenzen, the director of the visual arts at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.
The winning students from this exhibit will have their work featured in the Michigan Art Education Association’s fall conference state-level exposition. Certain artwork at this level will then become a part of the “Governor’s Traveling Show.”
“I think [this exhibit] allows [students] to be creative and… [it] builds up their confidence so they can continue in the art program,” said junior Shannon Kynion, who is an art student at Adrian College.
According to Royer, many AC art students help to set up the region three show alongside various art teachers from the four counties. This interaction helps students make connections that could greatly benefit them in their future career, especially the art education students.
“It’s good for them to meet people in other counties because they will very soon be looking for work,” said Royer. “Our students get all kinds of good professional experience [from the community connections].”
Another exhibition currently on show is the Michigan Small Colleges display, which will last until the closing reception on March 25.
This show features the artwork of students from Albion, Alma, Olivet and Adrian.
“[This exhibit has] been going on as long as I’ve been teaching here,” said Royer. “About 15 years.”
According to Royer, every year each college gives a little money to fund this art show, which rotates between the colleges.
Sometimes Hillsdale and Spring Arbor University are also included in the show. This year the exhibit is at Olivet College in the Kresge Art Gallery.
“It’s always fun to see what people at other colleges are doing, too,” said Royer.
There were about 54 pieces from AC students that were submitted for the show. These pieces came from a number of students, some of whom were not art majors.
According to Royer, entering artwork into exhibits such as Michigan Small Colleges is a great resumé builder and helps with career plans as well.
“We have really good students,” said Royer. “I think the students get excited about [these exhibits], especially the [art] majors.”
The juror for this event is Joanna Learner, who earned her master’s degree in fine arts from Western Michigan University, and is currently a painter, sculptor, and jeweler.
The first place winner for this exhibit is awarded $300. There are also place holdings for second place, third place, and honorable mentions.
Kynion submitted three pieces to the MI Small Colleges exhibit and had two of her pieces selected to be on display.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” said Kynion. “It’s always good to have your work accepted into the show. It builds up your exhibition record.”
There are several other shows that are hosted around the AC community as well. For instance, the Junior Critiques began on Tuesday in Copland Furniture on North Main Street.
After spring break in the Valade Heritage Room, the first set of seniors will be displaying their senior exhibitions.
“It’ll be about one third of the senior class,” said Royer. “We have two more to come.”
According to Royer, people should come to see the various exhibitions because not only are they fun to look at, but also the pieces are thought provoking and sometimes even gut-wrenching.
“Artists think of their work as ‘texts’… we really think of them as something that goes beyond decoration,” said Royer. “They’re part of the intellectual conversation.”