Gallery Rewind: The Myers School of Art 88th Juried Student Exhibition

A photo essay by Philip Patnode with commentary from Shananne Lewis.
Liam Kidd, Heavy is the Head shown at the 88th Juried Student Exhibition at The University of Akron Myers School of Art.
Liam Kidd, ‘Heavy is the Head’ shown at the 88th Juried Student Exhibition at The University of Akron Myers School of Art.
Philip Patnode
The 88th Juried Student Exhibition at Myers School of Art inside of Emily Davis Gallery. (Philip Patnode)

The 88th Juried Student Exhibition at Myers School of Art left an impression on the community. Students, family, and friends lined up to see the juried student exhibition on Feb. 15. Though there were 118 pieces of art selected to appear in the show. I chose eight about which I express my own thoughts and the ideas that the art evoked from me in this essay. 

These are my reflections from the exhibit, which took place from Feb. 8 to March 2. My hope is that if you did not attend this year, you make a point to visit next year, and that my observations give you inspiration to see art through the lens of your own life’s story.

If you are so moved, feel free to share with us here at The Buchtelite. Art is meant to be discussed, shared, and enjoyed

Katelyn Martin – ‘Wire Iris,’ shown at the 88th Juried Student Exhibition at The University of Akron Myers School of Art. (Philip Patnode)

Katelyn Martin, Wire Iris

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Flowers are vibrant, rich in colors, soft to the touch, and “alive.” A representation of a family of irises sat on a shelf all alone. It stood out for its individuality. It stood out for its contrast to what is defined as a beautiful flower. The piece called “Wire Iris” used wire to create beauty. The black color of the wire forces one to see the beauty in the shapes, curves, angles, and layers of twisted flower images. Katelyn Martin keeps us alive with nothing but wire, challenging us to question the definition of beauty in flowers.  

 

Nancy Reeves – ‘Beauty in Imperfection’ shown at the 88th Juried Student Art Exhibition at The University of Akron Myers School of Art.

Nancy Reeves, Beauty in Imperfection

Black and white film evokes feelings of simplicity, calmness, and imperfections. Some people are huge fans of black and white photography because of the nostalgic feelings it gives. Others find it drab and boring. Bouquets of flowers can be bought for joyful moments like weddings, birthdays, and romance, or for sad occasions like funerals and hospital or gravesite visits. “Beauty of Imperfection” by Nancy Reeves leaves the flowers a mystery. They are not perfectly arranged. We do not know the occasion. We do not know who the person is or where the location may be. That is the essence of imperfection. And sharing imperfection in photos is a welcome treat due to the social media photo trend of only showing ideal images. Bring back the beauty of imperfection, and bring back peace of mind and soul, please.  

 

Evie Grubb – ‘Wire Vase’; Naomi Torgler – ‘Spaghetti’; and Victoria Cole – ‘A College Student’s Breakfast…Sometimes’ shown at the 88th Juried Student Exhibition at The University of Akron Myers School of Art.

Evie Grubb, Wire Vase; Naomi Torgler, Spaghetti; and Victoria Cole, A College Student’s Breakfast…Sometimes 

Three separate artists, three separate pieces of work. “Wire Vase” has a practical, solid vibe around it. One imagines this could be found in any modern home or office. When empty, it represents stillness. Filled with décor of shapes, balls, potpourri, or paper mâché craft items, it could be transformed into a personalized décor. Evie Grubb developed a product that is both artistic and useful.  

“Spaghetti” by Naomi Torgler evokes feelings of food that is out of this world. Luigi’s in Akron comes to mind. The beauty of a dangling spaghetti noodle is captured in the eye and hands of the artist. The act of the noodle intertwined between the fork and the bowl is something not typically captured in art. It was a noodle in transit from bowl to mouth.  

A scrambled egg with coffee is necessary for college life. Cheap, full of protein and high in caffeine, the miniature brass and copper artwork stated the simple breakfast life. Sometimes. If the college student is so lucky to find the time and place to eat breakfast, then this college breakfast is a success. Victoria Cole gave a glimpse into a meal with her work titled “A College Student’s Breakfast…Sometimes.” Left wondering if there could be another breakfast option for the college student or if sleep becomes the alternative, I pondered the breakfast role in the typical college student’s life.  

Liam Kidd, ‘Heavy is the Head’ shown at the 88th Juried Student Exhibition at The University of Akron Myers School of Art. (Philip Patnode)

Liam Kidd, Heavy is the Head

The sculpture “Heavy is the Head” by Liam Kidd penetrated the room with its Herculean aura. Upon closer evaluation, knowing the title, it seemed to me to represent the heavy topics in the head that are constant in one’s life. The simplicity of the head and bust contrasted with the sharp, various sized points coming from the head. Our heads truly are heavy with info, knowledge, and worry. The visual representation was jarring and unique. What penetrating thoughts are in your heads as a college student?   

Hannah Barnes – ‘Sebastian Cats’ shown at the 88th Juried Student Art Exhibition at The University of Akron Myers School of Art. (Philip Patnode)

Hannah Barnes, Sebastian Cats

 “Sebastian Cats” was a favorite because owning a black cat is something familiar. The repetition of the black cat only emphasizes emotions toward the black cat in one’s life. Is it love you feel toward the cat? Or is it curiosity? Does this work of art elicit a deep longing to have that perfect animal in your own life, roaming around your home, looking up at you with a desire to be loved? Or are you satisfied with gazing upon the mesmerizing image of black cats with their reflections of color jumping out at you? Hannah Barnes rendered the many poses of the cat with creative ease and purpose.  

 

Olivia Richardson – ‘Her Worst Fears’ shown at the 88th Juried Student Exhibition at The University of Akron Myers School of Art. (Philip Patnode)

Olivia Richardson, Her Worst Fears

The painting of dolls by Olivia Richardson had a beautiful, haunting spirit waiting to be released from its canvas. The middle doll, who stared directly at us, penetrated the soul with some unknown secret it possesses. The other two dolls casually wait for whatever is to become of them. Or they already know. “Her Worst Fears” seems to offer a veiled warning from the middle doll while the other two have no more warnings or inquisitions left in them. Whatever it is, there could be a startling effect when these dolls are found repeatedly upon the shelf. It may make us look twice at our Grandmother’s Raggedy Ann dolls in the closet shelf.  

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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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