Students recognized and awarded for artistic achievement

Emilee Monville was one of ten student artists who received an award at the Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition reception for her ceramic zombie depiction of the Sesame Street character, Elmo.

“(This) prepares students for the process of applying to art school, and submitting work into galleries,” said the Midland senior. “It’s also great to see all your peers work and recognize each other, because we all put a lot into this.”

On Saturday, Feb. 27, about 50 people filed into the University Art Gallery at Central Michigan University for the exhibition reception. The exhibition was juried by Natalie G’Nat Wetzel, a trans disciplinary artist and assistant professor at Kendal College of Art. Of the 142 works by 63 artists who submitted pieces into the exhibition, Wetzel accepted 62 works by 44 artists to be displayed.

Monville said her piece was inspired by her work with children, who have talked about watching the television show, The Walking Dead. She said she was shocked hearing this from children, who are more appropriately aged to be watching Sesame Street.

Five students received merit awards of $50 each for their work. Two students, Michael Farris and Christina Waggoner, also received Purchase Awards at the ceremony.

“The purchase awards were decided by the Art on Campus committee, and these pieces will be submitted to go Lansing to be in the Art in the House program," said Art and Design Professor and gallery director, Anne Gochenour. "Legislators chose a couple pieces from all the state universities. They will then come back and be a part of the permanent collection at Central Michigan University."

Kayla Rothenberg and Christina Zardus both received Juror’s Awards of $100. The Grand Award of $200 was awarded to Michael Davis, broadcast and cinematic arts major, for his series of photographs titled, "Where am I Going?"

University Art Gallery guests were encouraged to participate in the Public Choice Award vote, which will be open for the next three weeks of the exhibition. 

"It’s so great to see all the friends here, just to support the art," said featured artist Megan Ferguson, a Grand Haven senior majoring in BFA studio.

North Branch freshman, Amanda Bowman, was one of the many attendees who came to appreciate the artwork. 

“There are some really interesting pieces,” she said. “Most of them are really thought provoking.” 

Gouchenour said the Juried Student Art Exhibition has been taking place on campus for at least the past 10 years. However, the event has been happening for longer on a non-annual basis. 

“It’s so nice to see the cumulative work from different areas and departments across campus," said  featured artist and Plymouth senior, Tim Merkel. "It’s all so different, and enjoyable for different reasons.”