Student Showcase at The Gallery Downtown

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Maria Uzel


This week there was a Juried Student Showcase at the Radford University Gallery on Main Street. Students of Radford University could enter paintings, photography, and even jewelry to be judged and put on display. There are some art pieces even for sale.

There were some amazing pieces of work on display, such as a beautiful watercolor and pastel piece called Stalked, Scavenged, and Consumed by Layla Dobos. This piece used so many vibrant colors and blurred lines to really give it an abstract feel. The painting depicts two young women, fallen on the ground with vultures circling them. You can clearly see the women’s bones pushing through the skin, so if the vultures were not indication enough, they are clearly on the brink of death. This piece really stuck out to me because it was so raw. The passion the artist has really shone through.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I know little to nothing about art, especially abstract and modern pieces. There was a piece hanging called The Beginning by Kevin Kwon. It was a beautiful piece with many pastel colors that really stood out; it looked almost like watercolor, but it was actually oil paints. To be frank, I could not see any defined imagine in the painting besides a couple of dots here and lines over there. It was a very pretty painting, but not one that I could really grasp the concept of.

Catherine Baker was lucky enough to enter not one, but three separate pieces into the show. She entered three different digital prints and they each had a different back-story and inspiration. One of her pieces was called Day 32 which is a project she is working on outside of class. It is a picture of her wrapped in packaging paper.

Catherine states, “It focuses on form, texture and movement. The themes it aims for are themes of self-entrapment, a fragile sense of self, as well as a vulnerable mental state.” The judges liked this piece enough for her to receive an Honorable Mention award.

Another piece that Catherine entered was “Part of a 10 photo series shot in the late fall of 2015. Comprised of parts of 2 separate images, again taken with a wireless remote. Includes an emphasis on color, texture, and placement. The themes are: reality, sense of self, self-awareness, disconnection from the natural and mental world and self-exploration.”

If jewelry interests you, there were some very remarkable pieces on display. There were two pieces in this collection called Newts Bracelet and Newts Ring. Each piece was created using sterling and fine silver, precious metals and colored stones. These pieces would definitely fall on more of the high-end scale of fashion. They were beautiful pieces, however, the ring was as big as my fist and the bracelet consists of silver lizards that wrap around your entire hand. For practicality purposes, I would not recommend the pieces, but for an art gallery or high-class date, go on ahead.

While I may not understand many aspects of art, I know high-quality pieces when I see them. All the pieces that were chosen, especially those that received awards, definitely deserved to be showcased. It is amazing what students here at Radford are capable of creating and how talented and passionate they can be. Any of the artists could easily compete with professionals and I wish them all the best of luck with their future careers.

The Student Showcase will be on display until March 3, so head on down and check it out; also, if any of the pieces featured interest you, they are for sale. Although, I do not know if a 700 dollar painting is a purchase worth making on a college student budget.