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Skidmore College

Student Art Exhibition juror makes selections, describes process

March 4, 2014

Skidmore’s annual Juried Student Art Exhibition, a celebration of the creativity, imagination, and skill of the College’s art students, drew 215 entries, from which juror Sanford Mirling selected 67 works to include in the exhibit, which is on view through March 14 in the Schick Art Gallery.

Mirling also selected a number of entries for awards. In a statement announcing the winners, he began with an apology. “I want to apologize to the incredibly skilled students who are not represented in this show,” said Mirling. He continued, “As tough as it was to pass over some remarkably gifted draftsmen, painters, ceramicists, photographers, and graphic designers, jurying a show is about taste. In this case, my taste.

“As a teacher evaluating work, I often find it hard to avoid distractions like effort, progress, and the potential of a given student’s work. What makes this show so exciting is my lack of knowledge of these factors; I am freed to judge these pieces not as ‘student art’ but simply as art,” Mirling added.

Awards and gift certificates totaling more than $1,000 are funded annually through donations from friends of the gallery, campus organizations, and community benefactors. Mirling made the following selections:

Schick Art Gallery Award--Winnie Vaughan ’14 for her painting titled Brandon, Orion, Sage

Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery Award--Bailey Farrell ’14 for her painting titled Reece and Abby

Renee VanDewater Memorial Award in Painting--Alison Eagle ’14 for her painting titled Mom 2 

Renee VanDewater Memorial Award in any Media--Kate Biel ’15 for her photograph titled Lillian

Soave Faire Award--Layla Durrani ’14 for her photo collage titled Frances

Pro Arts Award--Rachel Ajamie ’14 for her piece titled Condition

Allerdice Building Supply Award--Rachel Ajamie ’14 for her painting titled Pat 

Adirondack Trust award--Rachael Greenfield ’14 for her drawing titled Knees

Skidmore Shop Award--Brendan Mahony ’14 for his book titled Kid

“All the students who submitted work to this show are on the right track,” said Mirling. “Exposing your hard work and passion to a juror, and potentially the public, requires a great deal of confidence, and those of you who made work that seemed too technically driven for my taste – you are probably ahead of the game.”

Mirling, a sculptor and visiting assistant professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, is a co-founder of Collar Works Art Space in Troy. He has shown work at the Albany International Airport; Ann Street Gallery in Newburgh; Franconia Sculpture Park in Franconia, Minn.; and many other venues. In 2009, Mirling received the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement Award; in 2010 and 2012, he received the Juror’s Award at the Mohawk Hudson Regional Exhibition.

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