Maria Welch’s work, The Dock, was chosen as Best of Show in the Juried Student Exhibition and Emilie Davis’s Seasons of Silence (Summer, Fall, Spring, Winter) was selected as Runner-Up. There were over 45 submissions for this exhibition, which juror daniel johnson, Director of Engagement and Learning at the MS Museum of Art, narrowed down to 23 to include in the show. Among those selected for the show, there was a wide variety of media represented (drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, print-making, digital creations, mixed media, and even performance), making the selection of only two for recognition a very difficult process.
daniel johnson identified the four criteria that he used during his selection process as “technical skill, clarity of composition, reverberation of meaning, and space for the viewer.” He explained,
“All four of these considerations work hand in hand – are the materials handled in a way which suggests that their application clarifies the intentions of the artist, do the presumed intentions of the artist have a resonance with meaning in the larger cultural sphere apart from the personal life of the artist, do these resonations of meaning still leave space for the viewer to occupy and personally connect with the work – all an interplay between what is suggested and how these signs echo and reflect inside of cultural touchstones both universally and personally. In judging work I am looking for that interplay – between the artist and materials, the art work and society, and that there is space within that for the viewer to connect personally and universally.”
daniel said that Maria and Emilie’s works “satisfied all of the elements I have discussed here. There was not only a clear relationship between ideas and the execution of the work – the mediums chosen, how they were handled, and the experience and ideas they were intended to project – but there was space within them to explore and manipulate that meaning in personal ways – ways which upon inspection and reflection, continued to reveal questions, challenges and affirmations of the meanings which one could tease out… Best in show goes to an art work which presented itself simply but with a certainty of design and a diminutive poise which masked the depth of experience offered. It made large forces manipulatives for the viewer and drew relationships between some of the biggest presences in our lives in ways which invited silent but complex contemplation.”
Emilie Davis, Seasons of Silence (Summer, Fall, Spring, Winter)
Maria Welch, The Dock (in her department studio before the show)