Virtual Atkinson exhibition awards students’ art with scholarships

%22Untitled%22+by+Carla+Romero+in+the+virtual+2021+Annual+Student+Exhibition+carousel%2C+hosted+by+the+Atkinson+Gallery+for+the+SBCC+Art+Department.+Art+Students+from+the+past+school+year+were+encouraged+to+submit+work+for+the+opportunity+to+be+in+the+show%2C+and+to+possibly+win+a+scholarship.

Desiree Erdmann

“Untitled” by Carla Romero in the virtual 2021 Annual Student Exhibition carousel, hosted by the Atkinson Gallery for the SBCC Art Department. Art Students from the past school year were encouraged to submit work for the opportunity to be in the show, and to possibly win a scholarship.

Leah Dautoff, Staff Writer

The Atkinson Gallery is currently presenting the 2021 Annual Student Exhibition, a virtual exhibit that will be available for viewing through May 7. 

The virtual exhibit features artwork created by students over the past year as a part of their coursework in the Art Department.

“It was challenging to get people excited about submitting to a virtual show,” Atkinson Gallery Director John Connelly said. “I would have liked to have had more submission to go through but I know everybody’s distracted with all the Zoom meetings and coursework.”

The Atkinson Gallery and Art Department experienced an interesting challenge in the face of a global pandemic by deciding to create a fully online exhibit for student work to be featured safely after last year’s exhibit was canceled.

Students were invited to apply six examples of their own work created this year to be featured in the exhibit and the department staff looked closely at all the submissions before choosing the featured artists.

The Art Department will also simultaneously award six students with scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year in recognition of their performance and dedication to the arts this year. Many artists in the show were part of the scholarship process.

Choosing scholarship recipients usually involves setting up small studios that were evaluated in person. However, because of the pandemic, the process was very similar to the submissions for the student exhibit.

Students submitted a written statement along with their art submission and a small team of people met to discuss who would receive which award based on their work and history at City College.

Even with these challenges, the department was fortunate to have a good selection to work with and the supplied images were strong in terms of quality, Connelly said. 

The type of media being featured includes 2D design, 3D design, drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. This wide array gives viewers an understanding of the types of work different students have been learning throughout the year.

There is a broad range of diversity throughout the visual presentation, even though the artwork is based on the same assignments, each student interpreted the assignments differently and that is seen in the artwork. 

“I was really inspired by a lot of the work that the students have created,” Connelly said.