Oh those arty kids. Aren't they a stitch? Some of them are reassuringly traditional, trying to shock the grownups with their edgy images as they always have. While others, noticing there's a recession on, are getting down to creating ads.
And they love this show, the Juried Student Art Exhibition, running this year for the 48th time. They entered 160 pieces and 70 were accepted. Their juror was Heather Leavitt from the Durango Arts Center, and she was generous with her prizes, awarding five main ones and 10 honorable mentions.
The show had a female tilt this year. Many of the images were female, but by other women rather than men.
For instance, Leavitt chose Keli Sequoia's charcoal and gouache "Beast Couture #1" for Best of Show. The woman-as-cow image she painted has been done before but fashion-model-as-cow was fresh. It's a big painting, unframed, and the watercolor paper is wrinkled. If anyone buys it at the $800 the artist wants, he or she will have a time framing it.
Camilla Fauthwon a prize for Innovative Use of Media for her stiffened jeans made into a floor lamp with shoe lathes for feet. She calls it "Dancing Diva." This piece is not for sale. Some art in the show is priced and some isn't.
Roxanne Baldwin showed imagination is her small plaster statue "Evil Eye." It looks like a green pepper that is morphing into something carnivorous. Great to see an artist making things no one has seen before.
Alicia Spear loves painting really fat women who society would tuck away having the time of their lives. Six of her paintings are in the show. Way to scare the grownups. They made me think of Niki de Saint Phalle's colorful, fat, fantastic Nanas.
Steven Garrett has a ceramic sculpture that won honorable mention. His heap of segmented worms is glazed to an amusingly high shine. He calls it "Artist's Growth II."
Graphic arts students showed for the first time this year in the show. Cody Adams did a moving poster opposing last autumn's Colorado Amendment 48, which would have outlawed abortion and some forms of contraception. She brought passion to her clean design.
Bonni Pachecho's "Pascual" is amusingly ambiguous. Is this just an oil painting of a fish on a dinner plate or is the fish eating itself with the fork supplied?
Berkley Bargine raised laughs and admiration with her droll "Self Portrait" made of plaster, feathers and pigment. She shows herself as an egg with decorated feet and a bird's nest coming out of her head.
That's what those art students are doing. This year. Their work is worth seeing.