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High School Invitational Virtual Exhibition

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High School Invitational Virtual Exhibition

The College of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is pleased to present the first annual High School Virtual Exhibition for the 2013-14 academic year. In response to our participation and call for entries at the NAEA national conference in March 2013, digital images of artwork from four states and 10 high schools entered student work including entries received via the Massachusetts Art Honor Society. Megan Abajian, Director of Studio Art Foundations for the College graciously served as the juror and awarded the following:

1st Place, Elise Brown, Into the Light, The Tatnall School, Wilmington, Delaware
2nd Place, Kate Jarecki, Floss Vessel, Libertyville High School, Libertyville, Illinois
3rd Place, Dominique Bruncko, Topographical Ring, Libertyville High School, Libertyville, Illinois
Honorable Mention, Kyler Walker, Going Places, Gould Academy, Bethel, Maine

Congratulations to the award recipients and to all the students for their high quality work. Additionally, we send our sincere appreciation to the teachers for being these students' art advocates. All your efforts are appreciated!

Juror’s Statement

When first asked to jury exhibitions I get really excited about the art work I get to see and honored that someone would ask me.  Then I actually start the jurying process, and that excitement goes away when I realize I have to narrow my choices down to just a few. I always forget what a difficult and challenging task it is to jury an exhibition.

It starts out with an array of work, all with a redeeming quality and worthy of some note. Then, you filter down, pulling out those that stand out just a little bit more for whatever reason. Now, I sit there with a handful left, all winners in my book and am asked to rank 1, 2, 3….

With this particular exhibition, the process was no different, difficult from start to finish.  I was impressed with all the entries, each demonstrating a wonderful level of skill beyond their years.  I picked and pulled, rotating through each image again and again, and realized, although each entry had me engaged, I was drawn to works that transformed the media the artist was working with.  This was how I came to 1, 2, 3… and an honorable mention.

Elise Brown’s Into the Light is a beautifully executed portrait. Although done in acrylic, I was made to think digital. This work teeters the line between traditional portraiture, digital photography, and new media processing, all the while rooted in the history of painting.

Kate Javecki’s Floss Vessel brings to mind sea anemones, otherworldly creatures, or Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures, when in fact it is comprised of dental flossers. Not only was I taken by color and form, but the surprise of  the material.

Dominique Brunko’s Topographical Ring demonstrates a mature level of craft, combining copper, brass, and nickel into a sculptural topography that sits upon two fingers.

I asked if I could have an honorable mention because I wanted to acknowledge Kyler Walker’s Going Places. The artist is using an unconventional material to sculpt the human form. But, to be honest, I was not sure if I was looking at the piece as a sculpture or as a photograph. Either way, the artist was using media to illustrate light. The transparency of the legs, the shadows it created, the geometry of the shadows cast by the architecture, culminated into an ethereal visual experience. 

It’s a brave and scary thing to put your work out there.  Thank you to all who entered and allowed me to look at your work. I am honored.

Megan Abajian, Director, Studio Art Foundations
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth