Winthrop's Undergraduate Juried Exhibition and student awards ceremony was held last Friday in the University Galleries. I mentioned Logan and Katie in the previous post and both of them raked in several deserving awards. Lots of my other former students won purchase awards or "best student in..." awards. Again, this has nothing to do with having once been in my class, it's simply a reason to feel pride on their behalf. I also got to meet Austin and Chris which was a pleasant surprise although I was terribly distracted by my son desperately needing to climb up and down the stairs right that very second.
One of the things that struck me at the exhibition was the connection that is being made between the role of the artist as a community servant. This year's exhibition was built around the theme of raising awareness about homelessness. Many of the students interacted with homeless people and organizations designed to help the homeless in order to compose and create their works of art. Several groups of students volunteered their time to this cause in various ways. And certainly the artwork itself pointed to the need for the viewer to also get involved. In a time when many artists and art organizations can be found looking for ways for the community or the government to serve them, it was refreshing to see these artists looking for ways to give instead of receive.
In a completely unrelated note, I have been working on a collaborative linoleum block print design for weeks now with the infamous Molly. We're doing this to participate in Josh Drews' printmaking Extravaganza at Spring Valley High School in Columbia. Josh has invited people to come out with ready to print blocks and he's going to have some steam rollers in the parking lot to run them over. Neither of us had worked in collaboration with another artist before and had very little idea how to go about it. I had not cut linoleum since being in Mr. Martyka's printmaking class about 15 years ago. But somehow in a matter of weeks, we came up with some ideas, images, and some linoleum and we have about half the block cut now. That's an image of it up there at the top as of about 30 minutes ago. Tomorrow I'll hand it all over to Molly for her to finish it up. I've learned a lot from this experience already and my dogs have learned that linoleum shavings are not food.
Oh, and speaking of Molly...she has two really great sculptural furniture pieces in a show called "Delicious" in downtown Rock Hill (125 Caldwell St.). She also curated the show and pulled it off without a hitch (except for leaving poor Lila off of the info sheet).