Winners revealed and rewarded

Will MacFadyen

Student artwork was displayed and awarded this past Friday during the opening reception for City College’s Annual Student Art Exhibition in the Atkinson Gallery.

Around 150 people showed up for the reception, where a variety of student work was being showcased both indoors and out. Artwork ranged from small drawings and art books to life-sized bronze statues. Tony Askew, Director of the Reynolds Gallery at Westmont College, was in charge of judging the student work in the exhibition.

“I’m more passionate now than when I started,” Askew said. “It’s an incredible feeling.”

The categories for judging spanned almost all artistic interests, including drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. Each of these categories was separated into beginner, intermediate and advanced groups. A 1st Place winner and a runner-up, or “Merit Award” winner, was chosen for each group.

Prizes for the winning artists ranged from $50 gift certificates to scholarships of up to $1,000. Student artists in the exhibition had the option of selling their work. One of the more prominent awards was the President’s Purchase Award, given by Superintendent/President John Romo.

For this award, five pieces of student art were purchased by Romo and will be displayed in his office for one year.

“This is one of the highlights of my year,” Romo said. A blue ceramic plate and vase by Sarah Brown were both purchased by Romo, as well as small ceramic vases by Ingvild Holton. Romo also purchased a print by Pali X-Mano and a piece by Katrina Spiewak.

Romo said the criteria for his selection included not only his limited budget and office wall space, but also what was for sale by students-not all students listed their artwork for sale.

Romo was met with applause when he said the arts should not be expendable during hard times, although they are often at the top of the list of what must go for schools facing budget problems.

“The arts are core to what we do and what we are,” Romo said. One of the more notable awards at the reception was for Best in Show, which was given to Adam Bertolet’s triptych, or three-canvas painting. Bertolet said he was inspired by a large graffiti piece he saw in a friend’s house. Bertolet added that he didn’t do graffiti, but that he liked its organic nature-lots of hard lines and edges.

“I like lots of movement going on and lots of energy,” Bertolet said. “I like how lines move in space.”

Bertolet described his piece, which took him less than two days to complete, as “big blocks of colors.” He said he normally doesn’t use color in his paintings, but wanted to use a lot of color for this particular piece.

Currently an intermediate painting student, Bertolet said he first picked up painting while in an acrylic painting class with City College teacher Elizabeth Smith and in a 2-D painting class with teacher Bill Durham.

“There was a lot of amazing art,” Bertolet said. He added that this event was the first time he had seen his own piece hanging on a wall, and that he was excited to see his work on display with other students.