By Tara Bennett
From intricate, detailed still-life paintings on massive canvases to postcard-sized loose charcoal sketches, the art on display inside the Student Union Gallery is as vibrant and diverse as the student body it represents.
Student talent is currently being collected as the gallery prepares for the return of its annual juried art show, which runs from Feb. 2 to April 1.
This will be the 15th official year for the exhibition, and registration has been extended until Feb. 20 to get as many submissions as possible. The year 2014 did not have an exhibition, as the gallery underwent renovations beginning in August 2013 and was reopened in April 2014 before the end of the semester.
“Last year we couldn’t do it just because the gallery was going through renovations,” said Heather Bilodeau, Auxiliary Services communications coordinator, who explained the gallery has been updated to better house future exhibitions. “[The gallery] has a very refreshing, modern feel now.”
According to Bilodeau, the show works in two parts. The first part is the pre-juried art show, where everyone who submits a piece of artwork will have it on display until Feb. 25. Then, on Feb. 28, a panel of four judges will go in to judge the artwork and decide who will win the $500 first place prize. Second and third places will receive $200 and $100.
“Then they pick about 50 or so more pieces of artwork that they feel is a good representation of the students and their art exhibit,” said Bilodeau.
Bilodeau explained that the purpose for the pre-juried show is to offer a chance for the students and the Baton Rouge community to see up-and-coming artists as well as to expose students to the way the art world works.
“It’s a good launching point, so they get experience and they’ll have an idea of how competitions run in the art world,” said Bilodeau.
The exhibition features artwork done in a variety of mediums including paints, sculptures, mixed media and photography.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have TVs to do video art,” said Bilodeau. “We’re hoping that will come next year, where if somebody creates videos then we can display that as well. Unfortunately, we’re not there yet.”
The competition draws students from several majors to showcase their work. According to Bilodeau, a call to artists was put out to students from all majors, and was answered with submissions by graphic design, digital art, pre-nursing, engineering, geography, mass communication and architecture majors.
“They don’t just have to be an art student or a graphic design student. We actually have an engineering student who does art on the side,” said Bilodeau. “We want students to have that exposure no matter what major they’re going into.”
This year also marks the first time the exhibition is open to graduate students.
“The cool thing about this year is it’s always been open to undergraduates, but it was never open to graduate students,” said Bilodeau. “So now it’s really encompassing the entire LSU student body.”
Results of the competition will be released Feb. 26 and the selected pieces will then be on display at the Student Union Gallery from March 3rd to April 4th.
“We’re really asking students who aren’t artists to come and support their local classmates and check out the exhibit,” said Bilodeau.