VAC Juried Exhibition allows artists to ‘get space’


Hannah Swartz

"Raison d'etre," from artist Karen Frye, is one of the many pieces to be featured at the sixth annual Juried Exhibition in the VAC.

The Marshall University Visual Arts Center is in its sixth year hosting its Annual National Juried Exhibition. The theme, a first for this year’s event, is “Give Me Space!”

Six years ago, painting professor Ian Hagarty organized the first exhibition to give students a unique opportunity for showcasing their work. The juror this year is Alison Helm, director of the School of Art and Design and a sculpture professor at West Virginia University.

“The theme of space was chosen through one of the foundations courses that are themed and each year we try to choose one to build a show around,” said Melissa Yungbluth, the gallery director for the School of Art and Design. “Artists get to interpret the theme in their own way.”

Art for a wide range of tastes will be showcased in the Carroll Art Gallery, from articulate sculptural pieces to raised paintings.

“The public gets to see a real range of artwork that they wouldn’t see anywhere else,” Yungbluth said. “All mediums, all content, and a lot of non-locals that they wouldn’t normally see. The artists’ ages range anywhere from their mid-twenties to late sixties, so there’s a huge range of art within itself.”

The idea of having a national juried exhibition is a common practice in the art world. To have one not only gives the artists exposure, but it also helps raise funds for the students. This is the only national exhibition that the Carroll Art Gallery hosts, as the rest of the exhibits year round are for Marshall students only.

“It’s really a great way to get income to put back into the university,” Yungbluth said. “There is an entry fee and all of it goes directly back to the college to use for scholarships and our annual trips.”

The reception for the exhibit will take place Jan. 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the VAC. The exhibit will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, running from Jan. 16 to Feb. 10. Both the reception and exhibit are free to the public.

Hannah Swartz can be contacted at [email protected]