On Thursday, February 11, the JSU Department of Art hosted the 43rd annual Juried Student Show in the Hammond Hall Art Gallery. The Juried Student Show showcased some of the best artistic talent that can be found in JSU. Forty-six students submitted their work for judging, the best of which were narrowed down and put on display in the Hammond Hall Art Gallery, which was recently renovated during the summer of 2015.
Mary Dunn judged the submitted work. Before the awards were presented, Mary Dunn described the process that she undertook in deciding which works were displayed and what she was looking for in winning pieces. Technical proficiency and excitement were two things that were important for Dunn, but also quirkiness and a sense of humor. She went on to say that the judging sometimes got difficult when her own biases and personal tastes were brought up, but she did her best to remain objective throughout the entire process. The pieces that went on to win an award met the criteria that she was looking for, which included being conceptual, showing intent, executing that intention, and portraying an idea, while also being well-crafted.
Five pieces went on to win an award; there were four Honorable Mentions and one Best in Show. The four pieces that won Honorable Mention were Black Lives Matter an ink piece by Nashara McEachern; Human Skin Under 100x Magnification a film camera piece using silver darkroom process by Rebekah Britton; Mingo Wine Bottle a digital output piece by Annabelle Barrow; and Though The Truth May Vary, This Ship Will Carry our Bodies Safe to Shore a ceramic piece by Allison Wood. Best in Show was awarded to a piece made of pigments from nature titled Memorial to Alabama’s Former State Parks by Alexandra Williams.
In an interview after the awards ceremony, Mary Dunn talked about the quality of the work she encountered while judging the show. She said the good work from all of the students made the decision difficult. This is her first time as a juror in a student show and she kept in mind that the decisions she made would impact the students involved so she remained as objective as she could throughout all of the decision making. When asked about the Department of Art at JSU, Mary Dunn said that she believed JSU has a great program and great students. She is glad that the program is growing. “The quality of students is getting better, which is exciting,” she said.