Pop culture is theme for student art

The annual student art competition has come and gone, but the art still lingers. “Red Riding Hood,” “Dazed and Confused” and “Katy Perry,” along with many others can be found on display in the second floor of the library.

Senior studio art major Joanne Cervantes won the competition with her artwork entitled “LJ Whiteleg.” She recently made a dramatic change in her creative style after having artist block for a year, so the victory was satisfying to her.

“The reason I felt good about winning this time is because this work is so different from what I have done before.  My heart is really in this 100 percent,” she said. “I could have done my old style, but my heart just wasn’t in it. So for me to win first place in this new work, it just solidified in my mind that I am moving in the right direction. And it’s gratifying to see that other people can see what I see in it.”

Cervantes described finding her inspiration in unusual things.

“I see the beauty in junk. I wanted to do drawings from life. So I go out to the farm, and I just get around the horses, and work with whatever’s there. And to me that’s beautiful. It’s a very unpretentious environment, so there’s a lot of beauty in that. Just whatever’s around me,” she said.

For sophomore Christian ministry major Jennifer Settles, the artwork is a refreshing change of scenery while doing studies in the library.

“They should have this up here all the time because I like looking at it. I guess I just didn’t realize how many different kinds of art there is. Whenever I need a break from my studies, I can just gaze into the art,” she said.

This year 75 pieces were entered, and only 29 were accepted for the competition. Submissions were open to anyone who is currently enrolled in an art class or who has taken an art class within the past year.

First, second and third places were awarded, along with honorable mention.

Professor and Art Department Chair Hershall Seals had encouraging words for those whose work is not on display.

“The competition is always risky if you have your ego involved, but everyone has to understand that one judge’s opinion is one judge’s opinion. And you just have to be stubborn enough to keep entering, and eventually something will be accepted for exhibition,” he said.

Cervantes, whose art is often misinterpreted, explained that fear can never be an option for any aspiring artist.

She said, “Don’t ever be afraid to look stupid because you’re probably going to do that anyway. Be fearless and don’t hold back.  It’s a lot of hard work, but you have to be disciplined.”


Author: Nicole Johnson

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