Ms. Kristi Arnold
, Assistant Professor of Art, MFA, PhD, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA
"It was a pleasure to view the works from the students at Shippensburg University. In an unprecedented academic year due to Covid-19, I was particularly impressed by the level of maturity, skill, and professionalism reflected in the work. Some students chose to work directly with the pandemic in mind by carefully sewing or painting masks, while others appear to focus on personal content, such as the mundane or an emotional appeal to the audience. And yet, these works could also reflect time spent in isolation during a global pandemic; a lone dinner plate, countless dishes unwashed in the kitchen sink, time spent alone with only one's reflection.
As a whole, submissions were well-rounded in technique, composition, presentation, and content, all areas that I take into consideration when judging artwork. Notable works include the earth works and wearable art that interact with the environment, in addition to figurative works and paintings. However, the vast majority of student artwork displayed a strong sense of artistic discipline which made it difficult to choose awardees. I thoroughly enjoyed viewing the wide variety of artwork." K.A.
Mr. Milt Friedly
, Professor of Art, MFA, Elizabethtown College, PA
"2021 has been a challenge for the professor and student, managing online, hybrid and in person classes. Despite these challenges, the students and faculty of Shippensburg University's Art Department created an excellent body of work to consider for the Annual Juried Student Show. The work reflects commitment and time.
To judge art means to find something unique and special in each work selected, whether it is material, concept, craft, time or presentation. All must come together to make a work that is strong and speaks to the maker's sensibilities, likes, vision, and voice - it must have Verve!
We consider a work's place in context to art history and current trends, i.e., the contemporary. Is the work temporal, contrived, derivative - does it have spirit? What makes the work good?
Kimberly Braet's work, Rebirth
references self, it is a challenging work - the artist is taking risks. In viewing this work I am reminded of Jackson Pollock and Michael Heizer. "I am nature," was Pollock's response to Hans Hofmann when Hofmann suggested he work from nature. Michael Heizer's "Double Negative" references occupied and unoccupied space as well as displacing space. Braet's work Rebirth
captures the same spirit - she is truly one with the work.
Megan Stambaugh's Still Life with Glass shows skill and an ability to perceive and to capture the moment - holding objects in time, as did William Harnett and Audrey Flack. Stambaugh's painting is well crafted in all forms that make a work good, with Precision, it moves into the realm of Tromp l' Oeil.
Perhaps one of the most relevant, interesting and throught proviking works in the show is Sarah Lieberman's, Classroom. Lieberman suggests the impossible in a classroom of empty seats - a contradiction in every form, and a sense of mystery. Will a talkative ghostwriter return to the classroom?
It is good to see young artists expressing themselves given time and materials. Carry on and good luck - catch a break and take advantage of opportunity!
"There is no substitue for hard work." Thomas A. Edison." M.F.