Art students take matters into their own hands

Students in GW’s art department are taking a page out of history in order to get more of their works shown. Dissatisfied with the small number of entries allowed in this year’s student art show put on by the Department of Fine Arts and Art History at the Dimock Gallery, nine students are hosting their own Salon Des Refuses (Salon of the Refused) at the Mount Vernon Campus.

The Salon Des Refuses is a spoof on the exhibitions begun by French Emporer Napolean III in 1863. The original exhibition became the birthplace of impressionism, displaying the works of such artists as Manet, Renior, and Monet. This exhibition was the result of the influence of the famous Salon, the Paris art exhibition that was a make-or-break show for French artists in the latter half on the 19th century. One year, the Salon rejected so many artists that it created the Salon Des Refuses. Ironically, the Salon Des Refuses soon became more popular than the main exhibition.

Keeping this spirit alive on GW, students are displaying 11 works rejected by the official student art show, which is on the first floor of the Administrative Center at Mount Vernon. Salon des Refuses was open to any student whose work was refused from the Dimock Gallery student show. For the Dimock show, student submissions were reviewed by a jury made up of teachers and administrators in the art department.

A lot more work was rejected by the student art show than was brought into the refused show, said senior art major Karen Carruth, founder of the exhibition. We just put up all the work that was brought in.

Works include oil paintings, prints and photographs.

This is the first time there’s been a gallery of refused work at GW, Carruth said. We’d like to make it a tradition.`

Junior art major Holly Prochilo, who submitted a self-portrait done in oil for the show, said a lot of good work does not get into the official student show because of space limitations.

Carruth said art students have further plans for their newfound display space at Mount Vernon, including a show of artwork done by seniors in the spring.

Salon Des Refuses runs until Dec. 13 on the first floor of the Administrative Center on the Mount Vernon campus.

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