This year's rendition of the Student Select follows a gap year when in 2020, the exhibition took a virtual form (Art from Isolation) due to a campus closure as the result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Art Exhibition Association (aka Art Club) members invited Gary Sczerbaniewicz to be this year's juror. He is a practicing artist and educator based in Buffalo, NY, whose work was featured in a solo exhibition at the Dowd Gallery earlier this year. On May 4, Sczerbaniewicz selected over 70 works from 29 artists representing animation, ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, fibers, graphic design, and video. After careful consideration, the guest juror selected three students as winners of the Student Select 2021 exhibition. The First Prize went to Stephen Buscemi, a graduating BFA student with a concentration in painting and digital media. His acrylic painting titled Magic Revolver, 2021, and other of his works from his thesis series accepted in the show were recognized by the juror for high technical and conceptual abilities. Another painter from the BFA program received a Second Prize. A graduating BFA student, Samantha Reali was selected for her several paintings from the Hypnagogia series, and the Third Prize was awarded to a fourth-year student with a concentration in Graphic Design, Morgan McDonald, for her short video entitled, A Journey. The Honorable Mention, selected by the Dowd Gallery director, Jaroslava Prihodova, went to Jacob Robinson, a third-year BFA student with a dual concentration in studio Art and New Communication Media. Sczerbaniewicz commented on awarded projects, "A portion of the selected works referenced the contemporary interface between traditional forms of studio practice and the impact of the digital - yielding an engaging viewing experience that perhaps mirrors our cultural fascination with this very relationship. Their subject matters ranged from a playfully constructed narrative choreography to the more sinister implications of our societal need for security and its seemingly inevitable consequences - chief among these the loss of our individual privacies. Also resonant was the articulation of the disorienting physical/psychological state between waking and dreaming forms of consciousness known as the hypnagogic; which, in addition to being a condition that many individuals grapple with - seems an apt metaphor for the alarming times in which we currently live; on the threshold between varying ontological states."
The annual showcase presented in the Dowd Gallery offers students an opportunity to learn about formal artwork presentation while sharing their creations with the audience in a professional environment. The two-week exhibition demonstrates that creativity thrives even under tenuous circumstances and confirms that learning can be delivered effectively in alternative formats. Across campus, students come together from other majors and concentrations to show tangible outcomes not only from art and design-focused classes but also from students' own personal creative activity outside of classrooms. The diverse selection of art produced by art majors, non-traditional students, and non-art majors alike demonstrates that their imagination, acquired skills, and enthusiasm honors the quality and dedication of the faculty at SUNY Cortland and the strength of the student community. The juror adds, "I was impressed by the diversity of media, range of concepts, and modes of expression displayed in the submissions - all created during the physically and emotionally challenging Covid-era."
Jacob Becher, Kayla Bellan, Leah Bernhardt, Anna Brasted, Stephen Buscemi, Brianna Cancilla, Patrick Copeland, Ben Cottom, Shayna Crandall, Alyssa Cussimano, Francis Fruehan, Sophia Genao, Megan Hall, Grey Hinkle, Brooke Hollister, Meghan Kelly, Vanessa Leon Basurto, Mike Matute, Morgan McDonald, Karli Mills, Jake Philllips, Magen Rant, Samantha Reali, Lindsey Richards, Jacob Robinson, Claritza Rodriguez, Anna Schrauth, Julianne Statler, and Noah White.
The show runs through Friday, May 21, and will remain accessible on graduation day, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The gallery is closed on Saturday and Sunday except for graduation day.