The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

South art exhibit showcases its top students

By Martin Paredes/south news editor

Students’ original pieces will be showcased April 23-May 7 on South Campus during its annual Juried Student Art Exhibition in the Carillon Gallery of the Joe B. Rushing Performing Arts Center. 

Art associate professors Kara English and Paul Benero began the show in 2004 as a way to cap off their first-year teaching at South.

“We wanted to end the year in a big way,” English said. “We began with an art club that raised the money for the first student show with $800 to use for the art scholarship prizes. We had over 200 visitors come to that first opening. Since then, we have been happy to keep up the excitement generated from that first show throughout the last 10 years.”

Benero said most entries were accepted into the show during the first few years of the exhibition.

“From 2004 to 2007, the majority of the students’ works were chosen for exhibition,” he said. “This allowed for more student participation, but it also made for a very eclectic and visually busy exhibition.”

For a higher quality show that is crisper and organized better, the exhibition has now been limited to roughly 80 pieces from the hundreds of entries they usually receive.

“In recent years, we have limited the number of works that are going to be exhibited,” Benero said, “and thus allowing us the ability to create a handsome show that successfully captures the strengths and the quality of work that each participant exhibits.”

Around $1,500 in awards are given out each year, and the winners are chosen by a selected juror.

Past jurors include TCC alumni, art instructors from local independent school districts as well as professors and staff from various four-year institutions.

“The last three jurors have been UTA [University of Texas at Arlington] faculty,” English said. “A number of our art students continue their education at UTA each year, and we feel that it is a good link between our colleges.”

Last fall, UTA photography professor Kenda North was on South inviting students to participate in UTA workshops when she decided to volunteer as a juror for the exhibition.

As a juror, North must critique the entries based on composition, subject matter, theme, narrative, aesthetics and overall quality of the presentation. She will then choose three winners for each category and one piece to be awarded the $600 “Best of Show.”

The different media categories are drawing, design, painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, digital art, art metals/jewelry and video.

Benero said he likes how the show has “evolved into a more refined and streamlined exhibition.”

English finds the most joy from seeing all of the satisfaction expressed by the participants and their families.

“What stands out to me is the excitement of our students exhibiting their work, whether it is the first time, or even if they are veterans at showing their work,” she said. “Their friends and families all come to see the exhibit and support their efforts, and you can see the pride of the parents as they visit the exhibition. Then, of course, the prize money is just frosting on the cake.”

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