“Don’t let the idea that it’s a student art exhibit at a community college throw you off,” Jennifer Salzman, Art Gallery Director said. Salzman stated the annual Juried Student Art Exhibition runs like a high-end New York art exhibit. It is nationally registered by the League for Innovation, which allows community college students across the nation to compete with each other.
The exhibition has been an annual showcase for Lane Community College art students since the 1970s, providing hundreds of students the opportunity to gain wide exposure for their work.
The exhibit affords art students an opportunity to compete at a national level. Initially, they compete within their institution. Students successful at that level then move on to compete for a chance to be a part of a showcase of the best work created at community colleges nationally. All national-level entries are published in the League’s Student Art Competition publication. However, first, second and third places also receive cash prizes.
Salzman stated that a lot of success can be earned by students whose works are exhibited. Entry is open each year to Lane students for works created in the previous 12 months. This year, from approximately 130 submissions, only 38 pieces are being displayed. Of those, only three received the Dean’s Award.
Mitchell Henry was the third place winner of the Dean’s Award for his bowl titled “Evening Chrysanthemum.” Tuyen Nguyen received second place for his nude painting submission “Nude Study #2.” A metal sculpture entitled “Metal Hatch” by James Lane won first place.
Generally, jurors with some connection to Lane are selected. The jurors this year consisted of Walter Ali and his daughter, Kate, who has been employed as an Arts and Design Instructor at LCC since 2008. Walter Ali has been a studio potter and instructor for nearly 40 years. Both he and his daughter expressed excitement for having the opportunity to be judges for the exhibit.
After all submissions are entered, Building 11 is locked down. Each juror is given a set of post-it notes used to tag pieces of art worthy of being in the exhibit. If an item has been tagged by all jurors it is automatically entered into the exhibition. If an item has only a few tags, then the jurors discuss why the item should be showcased or not.
The host organization, The League for Innovation is dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. Over 800 institutions hold membership in the League Alliance.