Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
WV Rugged (photo by Eric Clark)
WV Rugged (photo by Eric Clark)

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The 26th annual Student Juried Exhibition, a juried exhibit of artwork created by undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Art and Design, is now on  display in the Birke Art Gallery on Marshall University’s Huntington campus.

In a juried exhibition, art is submitted and pieces to be exhibited are chosen by jurors.

John Farley, Marshall University graduate and gallery director, emphasized the eclectic nature of the show. “In a great juried exhibition there is a little something to suit everyone’s taste. It is a place one can visit for recognizable, palatable staples; however, the viewer may also encounter something a little less familiar and, in this way, begin to broaden his own visual sensibilities.”

The jurors for the 2012 exhibition are Mark Tobin Moore and Jennifer Reis.

Moore earned a B.A. in Studio Art at the University of Charleston in Charleston, W.Va. He followed that degree with an M.A. in painting and printmaking from Marshall University and M.F.A. in painting from West Virginia University.

“While I’ve been a juror before, this is my first time for Marshall,” Moore said. “The show has some exemplary pieces and it’s pretty similar to other student juried exhibitions – there are similar kinds of concerns expressed. There is a lot of skill evident in real and abstract expressions and a reflection of contemporary concerns in the arts.”

Moore, who recently served as an adjunct faculty member in the Humanities graduate program at Marshall, said he’s always pleased to serve as a juror for an exhibition.

“It’s always an honor,” he said, “and this time it was a surprise. I got my first graduate degree here, from 1983 to 1985 in art.”

Reis, currently assistant professor and gallery director at Morehead State University, is both an arts professional as well as a practicing artist. She has a B.F.A. from the Columbus College of Art, an M.A. in museum studies from Syracuse University, and an M.A. in studio art with an art education emphasis from Morehead State University.  

Reis also noted the eclectic nature of the exhibition.

“There’s a diversity of media,” she said, “and that all levels of student progress are shown is good, too … it’s interesting to see a show with freshmen to graduate levels coming out of the same department. It seems that there is use of found objects in a number of the pieces that I saw, and that certain areas, like photography, are well represented and the ceramics pieces are strong. It’s clear to me, from looking at the work, by the time the students are juniors or seniors, they are pushed to think more conceptually, in an experimental mode – which is good.”

Reis explained that in order to be a juror, she must think more like a curator and less like an artist.

“I jury a fair amount of shows and my perspective as a juror is to put on my gallery director hat and take off my artist hat. Sometimes you have to let go of your personal aesthetic bias. I think as a juror, I’m always looking for a high level of craft … [is it] well made, does it have a concept that is strong and original, not derivative, and is it presented well?”

There will be a reception and award ceremony from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13. The event is free and open to the public.  

The Birke Art Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays. It is located in Smith Hall, on Marshall’s Huntington campus, located on 3rd Avenue at the corner of Hal Greer Blvd.