By Faith Boyum
This year, six RCTC students — Kristen Brown, William Gartner, Robert Keller, Kieran McDonnell, Nicole Peterson and Luis Cisneros Pito — were recognized in the Juried Student Art Exhibit.
This event is annual, and any student enrolled in an art or design class is eligible to enter up to three original artworks of any kind of medium they choose. Not every artwork submitted is accepted, but those that are show skill and or a uniqueness like Kieran McDonnell’s piece, “Mantis in Eden.”
This artwork is made of Legos, wood and acrylic paint and is one of three artworks he chose to submit to the exhibition, which ran from March 20 to April 7. “Mantis in Eden,” along with the five other pieces, earned a $50 award. McDonnell said that he thought his piece “hit a soft spot in the judge’s heart.”
One of the other artworks that won, “Origami Dragon,” was made by Nicole Peterson, who used chalk pastel. She hadn’t planned to enter the exhibition, but her art instructor encouraged her to do so. She was pleasantly surprised when she learned that her artwork had been recognized because she hadn’t expected to win.
“I thought the artworks created by the other students were honestly really good. I actually figured I wouldn’t win because I thought everyone else’s works were very well done,” Peterson said.
So, placing in the art show is not necessarily easy. Each year, a juror from outside of RCTC decides which pieces will become part of the display, and the juror is different each time to ensure that the judge will be impartial.
Out of the selections, which are all quite good to begin with, only a handful of them can be chosen as winners, but it has been a good experience for the students. Both McDonnell and Peterson would enter the exhibit again if they had the chance and agree on the overall quality of the exhibit. It has also been beneficial to their development as artists.
“The experience gave me more confidence in my artwork,” Peterson said.