The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

Time is running out to see UA’s Exhibition of Juried Student Art

The 88th Juried Student Exhibition is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Friday, March 1.
UA Students exploring the exhibition on February 16. Photographed by Philip Patnode

Need a break from the grind of classes? The Myers School of Art is currently holding its must-see 88th Juried Student Exhibition. Located inside the Myers School of Art at 150 East Exchange Street, the exhibition is on view Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until March 1.  

This year’s juror, who evaluated the student artwork and selected the winners, was Cleveland native, Wendy Earle. She has worked as a museum curator in multiple cities including Cleveland, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Midland Texas. 

The exhibition has a variety of mediums, styles and perspectives, so nearly everyone will find something that resonates with their soul. 

“Visitors walking into this year’s Student Art exhibition will see a variety of art styles and media, and the defining theme of this exhibition is best described as expressionistic,” Earle said. 

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Each of us deserves inspiration to carry us through this thing called “life.” The Artist Formerly Known as Prince lyric came to mind when touring the exhibition. 

To open the show, Myers School of Art held a reception on the evening of February 15. With 118 pieces of art from 71 students, the exhibit perfectly illustrates the abundance of talent throughout The University of Akron’s art school. 

The awards ceremony was the highlight of the reception. 

Though there are 118 pieces in the exhibition, 228 pieces from emerging, student artists were submitted. Simply to appear in the show is an honor in and of itself. These artists are from a pool of students who take at least one art class. 

The presenter of the awards, Arnold Tunstall, spoke with enthusiasm and encouragement as he gave the upcoming professionals pep talks about the grind of art. 

“Art shows are not always free in the real world, so take advantage of it every time you can now,” Tunstall said. 

To summarize his remarks: submit work in the art shows, take advantage of art shows, and just go for it. “Keep doing it,” he said. 

Winners and Honorable Mentions (pictured left to right) Liam Kidd, AnneMarie Smith, Vivienne Gonzalez, Andra Benninghoff, Heather Higham, Ashley Strub, and Olivia Richardson. Photographed by Dale Dong. Not Pictured: Isabella Bailey

Awards were presented for first place, which was presented to Liam Kidd with “Model Home”. Second place was awarded to Andra Benninghoff with “Endless Supper”. Lastly, third place was awarded to Heather Higham with “Blue Whale”.

To selfishly talk about what resonated with me as I walked through, I was amazed by the work of fellow Buchtelite editors, who I work with in a different capacity. 

Layout Editor Olivia Richardson, a first-year student majoring in Graphic Design and a minor in Illustration, received an honorable mention. Richardson used her cat Charlie as inspiration for one of her cubism inspired pieces. She took numerous photos of her cat to help her with the process and therefore came up with “Cubist Cats” as the title of her work. 

“Her Worst Fears,” had a focus on dolls, and she stated, “I like to think of this as morbid but fun.” Well, Olivia, morbid got you an Honorable Mention award.

Olivia Richardson’s “Worst Fears” piece earned an honorable mention at this year’s exhibition. Photographed by Philip Patnode.

As a reflection on the winning pieces, Richardson’s “morbid yet fun” choice clearly portrays the words of Wendy Earle, “…the past few years have fostered an immense amount of personal and societal change, and artists are reflecting that.” 

Nicolle Reich, another Buchtelite layout editor, also has art appearing in the juried show. 

Looking at her three photographs, there are some recognizable locations. Whether one recognizes them or not, though, the work adds an element of travel to the exhibition. Exploring unfamiliar places is an exciting trait for artists or sharing the love for their favorite places can bring joy.

Artwork by layout editor. Nicolle Reich. Photographed by Philip Patnode.

An artist with time to chat at the reception was first-year student Katelyn Martin, a Graphic Design major. Based on a 3-D sculpture class, Martin designed a mask based on animal research of the flea. The assignment was for an animal to research, and fleas was her assignment. 

“Fleas were a big cause of the Black Plague,” states Martin. “I learned so much about fleas from the research I had to do for this project and a flea circus IS a real thing.” 

Looking at her sculpture, one can feel the intensity behind the work. 

For me, the research that students are required to engage in before they create the actual piece of art was surprising. It must be intense and a new experience for students. 

The reception was a busy time of close friends and family for UA’s art students. We are proud of the 8 Zips who won first through third place, along with five Honorable Mentions. 

The 88th Juried Student Exhibition is here for you to grow not only as an art enthusiast, but as a supporter of your student colleagues and friends. See the art, make a purchase in their shop, and attend a downtown Akron food venue to top off your day. A perfect date, a long-awaited meet-up with friends, or a sanctuary to enjoy some alone time, the Myers School of Art will give you exactly that artistic touch you may currently be missing in your college life. 

To quote Prince again: “Let’s look for the purple banana.” 



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Shananne Lewis
Shananne Lewis, Online Editor
Shananne Lewis started working as an Educational Specialist with the Education Talent Search at Buckingham in June of 2023. For twenty-five years she has taught dance in the Akron and Canton areas because she received her degree in Dance from The University of Akron. She has two children at The University of Akron. In her spare time, she loves to read about Dance History and is the administrator for Avid Dancer Book Club on Facebook, with a million members. Fun fact: Shananne Lewis lived in both Sisler-McFawn Hall and Spanton her Freshman and Sophomore years here at Akron. For ten years she had a birthday party business, frequently dressing up as a princess or pirate and invading their homes to teach a fun dance routine.
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