Emily Davis Gallery Featuring Works From 85th Annual Juried Student Exhibition

The Exhibition is free and open to the public until Mar. 26


Image via Melissa Olson

Senior Ceramics major Kayla Weinman next her her winning piece ‘How Many Licks?’, 2020. Ceramic, underglaze, glaze, wood, paint.

By LeKesha Parkman, Editor-in-Chief

The Myers School of Art’s 85thAnnual Juried Student Exhibitionfeatures student artwork from all academic levels, media, and disciplines. 

According to the Emily Davis Gallerys website, it annually serves as an important representation of the current student culture and thought. 

Ceramics major Kayla Weinman was awarded firstplace for her pieceHow Many Licks,” 2020 (Ceramic, underglaze, glaze, wood, paint).

(Top) First place: Kayla Weinman ‘How Many Licks?’, 2020. Ceramic, underglaze, glaze, wood, paint.
(Right) Second place: Tim Bekelesky ‘Transfiguration,’ 2020. Archival Inkjet Print.
(Bottom)Third place: Abigail Cipar ‘How we feel when we are amongst ourselves #2,’ 2021. Fabric, poly-fil, newspaper, foam board insulation, plywood. (Images via the Emily Davis Gallery)

In secondplace was photography major Tim Belesky, for ‘Transfiguration,’ 2020 (Archival Inkjet Print).

Painting and drawing major Abigail Cipar was announced as the third-place winner for ‘How we feel when we are amongst ourselves #2,’ 2020 (Fabric, Poly-oil, newspaper, foam board insulation, plywood. 

Kameron Savory, Emma Spadaro and Fourtune Uzo-Ngerem were honorably mentioned.  

The juror for the event was Tizziana Baldenebro, Executive Director atSPACES. Baldenebro was tasked with creating a cohesive exhibition that also highlighted the talent in the work of the selected students. 

Director of University Galleries Arnold Tunstall, announced the winners at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Mar. 3, in the upper atrium outside of the gallery.


All of the winners were visibly surprised upon hearing they had placed in the competition. When asked they each cited the high level of talent and artistry in the exhibit as reasons why 

Over 140 submissions from 51 students were submitted with 83 of those submissions being accepted into the exhibition.  

During her interview, Weinman was still in disbelief that she had won. “It doesn’t feel real,” she stated. All three of her submissions were accepted into the exhibition, which she described as humbling.  

Weinman characterizes her work as “surrealism meets pop art.” Her winning piece is part of a series that explores food addiction.  

The concept for “How Many Licks,2020 came to Weinman during her commute to campus. While driving she began thinking of suckers and tootsie rolls.

She frequently works on largescale projects and for this series, the large sizes are representative of food binging. The personification of food, specifically the sucker’s tongues, taps into her surrealist inclinations.

Weinman attributes her motivation to negative experiences in her life. “They push me to prove to people I’m not what you think I am. I’m more than that,” Weinman stated. 

Secondplace winner, Tim Belesky, fully constructs his sets himself and stated that his image is about the idea of performance and isolation in the twenty-first century.   

“We post what we want people to see, it’s all about that strive for perfection and quite literally it’s all a performance.”

Belesky’s photo offers commentary on constructed social media personas and how Instagram accounts are examples of people curating their lives.

“I put that idea into a photo; the idea of getting all dressed up with nowhere to go. Photographing myself in drag just felt natural to the process and helps emphasize that idea of performance. 

When asked what this level of recognition meant to him Belesky expressed joy and said, “looking back on my time at Myers School of Art and seeing the winners of past Student Juried Exhibitions it’s insane to think that I’m on a similar level as them.” 

Abby Cipar was contemplative when discussing how they felt the moment they were announced as a winner.  

Cipar acknowledged they did not expect to place but also admitted that they struggled with the decision to even submit to the show.

The 85th Annual Juried Student Exhibition is available for viewing until March 26. (Image via the Emily Davis Gallery)

“I put massive amounts of care into the work that I make, and for years, I have based the value of my work (and as an extension, myself as an artist and a person) upon whether or not the institution has approved,” Cipar stated. 

Cipar went on to say they were glad to have received this level of recognition at the end of their undergraduate program because it allowed them to create more organically instead of creating for the sake of achieving institutional acceptance.  

“Ultimately, my choosing to enter my work into this juried exhibition was to prove that queer folks and their work belong in these spaces. It was purely for the sake of having the representation there for others, being present. I know it would have meant a lot to me when I was a freshman and still closeted at Myers.” 

Cipar is finishing up the work for their BFA show, something they are very excited about. Cipar has been mentally preparing for their senior show for years now and is looking forward to displaying the culmination of all their hard work.

As a multidisciplinary artist, Cipar’s exhibition will feature sculptures, paintings, photography, and screen prints. The exhibition, Queer In Nature, will be at Current, 78th Street Studios, Cleveland, OH. April 1-25.  

Belesky is currently creating as many photos as he can for his upcoming senior exhibition. It will be at Kink Contemporary, 78th Street Studios, Cleveland, OH. April 3 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Weinman is completing the work for her upcoming show that will likely debut online. 

Located in Folk Hall, the Emily Davis Gallery is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Partial access to the gallery will be held on Tuesday and Thursday. The lower gallery is closed after 2 p.m. 

Social distancing, facial coverings and additional guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control must be followed while in the gallery.