Originally Published 04/12/99
The “Annual Awards Show” at GW’s Dimock Gallery is a unique exhibition. It showcases the talent of GW fine arts students and intertwines a variety of art forms and techniques.
Works of art are separated into six categories: ceramics, design, drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and visual communications. The artwork is arranged in the gallery based on its medium.
Although most of the paintings hang on the back wall, a large oil-on-canvas painting faces you as you enter the Dimock Gallery. The Butterfly Dance by graduate student Hannah Lee greets visitors with its friendly images of vases and fluttering butterflies. The colorful hues of the vases and delicate butterflies appear more vibrant and beautiful against the black background.
The wall opposing Lee’s painting is lined with seven intriguing photographs. While all of the photographs picture enticing scenes or images, the most captivating of the works is Shanice, a sliver gelatin print by senior Elizabeth Kaufman. The portrait of a young black girl, probably four or five years old, snares your attention with her dark, sorrowful eyes.
Six diverse paintings hang on the back wall. Still Life with Violin by graduate student Sally Parker is the closest painting to the wall of photographs. Juxtaposed with a black-and-white photograph, the vibrant blues and reds of the piece stand out. Town, by graduate student Paul Reuther, is an oil-on-linen painting depicting a small town in winter. The work’s muted beige and gray tones capture the dreary feel of winter.The exhibition’s visual communications section includes six interesting works. When students submit work under this category, they also must explain the objectives of their project. These works don’t fit your usual conception of art. But that on;y makes them more appealing. These works challenge you to discern their message.
The largest work hanging on the walls of the Dimock Gallery is Reaching by Scott Hutchinson, a graduate student. He won the Morris M. Aein Memorial Prize for his charcoal drawing of a girl stretching toward the sky. The piece is mind-boggling because the girl appears life-like yet is set against a background of imaginative patterns and swirls.
The design, sculpture and ceramic works of the students are situated on pedestals throughout the exhibition. Pig by graduate student Erik Sandberg ignores the aesthetic facet often associated with art. Composed of rusty, peeling metal, the work isn’t beautiful. Instead, it earned accolades for the way the scraps of metal are arranged to create the pig.
Although all of the works in the show are impressive, the most ingenious piece is School Bus, a sculpture of wood, aluminum, steel and plastics by Mansoor Azarhooshang, a graduate student. If you turn the small button on the side of the table beneath the School Bus, you will hear the typical sounds of young children on their way home from school. At first glance, the bright yellow wooden school bus appears to be a smaller version of the real ones. But after pondering the work for a few minutes, you notice a few peculiarities. While the front wheels of the bus are normal, the back ones resemble the wheels of a bulldozer. A rack of shoes sits on the roof and small wooden crutches are strewn on the seats inside the bus.
While each of the pieces are alluring individually, it is the combination of the different types of art that makes the “Annual Student Show” a wonderful exhibition. Most exhibits feature a particular artist or one kind of art work. But the “Annual Student Show,” which juxtaposes typical art mediums with less conventional approaches, demonstrates the vastness of the art world.