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Juried Art Exhibition features student artists across campus

Sixty-four art pieces created by Central Michigan University students will be displayed in the University Art Gallery until March 25.

Students of all majors were invited to submit their artwork for judgment and potentially win awards at the 2017 Annual Juried Art Exhibition. The pieces were chosen and judged by guest juror Israel Davis, a Grand Rapids based ceramist and multimedia artist. Various awards including the Grand Award, Juror Award, Merit Award, Public Choice Award and Honorable Mention were given to 11 students.

“This exhibition is really cool because it’s open to everybody on campus,” said Nicole Graziano, the assistant gallery director. “Just because you’re not majoring in art doesn’t mean you’re not an artist.”

Corunna senior Paul Banas, a Broadcasting and Cinematic Arts major, won the Grand Award of the exhibition after entering two stop-motion animated films, both five minutes in length.

The winning film, “Hallow’s Eve,” featured chess pieces and was filmed over a two-week period.

“I story-boarded things out and organized how I wanted to (film the video) in order,” Banas said.

To make his films stand out, Banas said he looked for objects that had preconceived significance, such as chess pieces.

Some pieces deviate from more traditional forms of art. Commerce Township freshman Julia Wozny, who won a Merit award in the exhibition, described her work as fostering audience interaction. Her instrumental piece, “Dictionary Definition of the word “Feminism, gives viewers a literal object to take home from the gallery.

“(Instrumentalist art) is art to serve a purpose or to be used to get a social idea across,” Wozny explained.

The artwork displays the definition of “feminism,” which according to Webster’s Dictionary states “men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” Underneath this she wrote “Take a nametag if you agree.”

“What they would be taking then is an individual nametag that I made that says ‘Hello, I am a feminist,’” Wozny said. “Putting this out (aims to) clear up any misconceptions on the word feminist.”

The project took her more than 48 hours to create.

“I could have easily typed this out and printed it out on a computer, but I took the more challenging way,” she said. “It is such a simple concept that I am conveying, and yet people have such a difficult time with it. Women have (gone) through this struggle for so many years, just to come to this simple conclusion. The whole thing is very symbolic in that way.”

Both Banas and Wozny agreed that Lauren Blake’s entry “Another Day, Another Thought, Another Empty Coffee Cupwas their favorite in the exhibition, which involves coffee-stained pages connected by strings with captions for each page alongside her accompanied drawings.

“The exhibition rounds out CMU culturally,” Banas said. “It gives art its own place on campus.”