Our 2023 Alexandria Fine Art Student Juried Show was organized by Jessica Gardner, our 3-D instructor. She chose Russ Mcintosh to be our juror. Throughout his artistic career, Russ, has exhibited around the country. He formerly ran the Arlington Arts Gallery and has been a graphic designer for over 25 years.
His current company, Vision Idea Design helps small entrepreneurs in the small business community achieve their goals. In recent years, he has hosted the SatARtday Artist Showcase which features young artists. He also hails as a NOVA alumni!
This year’s 2023 Fine Art Student Show, exemplified the exceptionalism of our NOVA student’s talents, creative endeavors and passion for art. I noticed this year offered a trend toward visual storytelling, featuring relationships between people, concepts, things and re-imagining them in wonderful new ways.
Julia Marques created a playful 3-d work titled Relaja La Raja. She incorporated children’s toys and wood to create a 3-D chair representing ideas of early life and growing up. If you get a chance to visit the gallery, check out the chair leg collections of toys!
Zee Blair created this epically gestured ode to Michelle Nichols who portrayed Uhura in Star Trek. Nichols has been an inspiration to many women over the decades. The artwork is titled, “Curiosity.” The glove represents her hand reaching out to the galaxies.
Another poignant and bold trend in this show is the art of the painted portrait. Our art students provided a variety of creative approaches, from stylized to realism. Each portrait is bold, unique and intriguing! (L-R) Pensive by Jennifer Wessmiller, Self Portrait by Julia Marques and Self Portrait by Lilian Tulloss.
The first artwork alcove, predominantly features women portraits and the stories they tell. Sarah Barakat painted numerous works on women. Her work, “Sisters,” says so much to anyone who has sisterly relationships. Yet each person is likely to have a different interpretation to the work depending on our backgrounds. It’s an example of what we the viewer brings to our experience with art.
“Portrait Knife Calligraphy” (below) by Raghad Elbardicy, helps us think about cultures, women, life, opportunities and togetherness. There are so many ways to interpret the artwork. Out of the grey, the pop of colors draw us immediately into each woman’s world.
Two artists created paintings featuring a pomegranate. Nicole LaVallee’s Pomegranate visualizes an intriguing surrealistic storyline that uses on and off the canvas elements. We are given much to consider during our evaluation of potential meaning. I personally love the physical surface of the work. The sky provides a rich, landscaped space where life is seemingly possible. The color divide between the world at large and the inner world of subject matter is both delineated and connected by a single black ribbon on the left-hand side of the canvas. The ribbon itself circles the entire canvas, acting as both frame and wrapper of the creative effort itself.
Art Tucker’s Pomegranate is technically exceptional. She beautifully handles water soluble oils. Not an easy feat. The piece exudes color as though it’s the very juice of the picture plane.
(Below), The message of Kirsten Ponticelli’s “How’d You Vote?” is clear. It’s a simple question provided within a direct, visual context. This one piece illustrates our ongoing societal debate at large countered against a visual of America’s unified student experience today.
We had one portrait of a man, titled, “Random Man Portrait” by Kiara Quinto. Kiara expertly handled the graphite and charcoal to create a work that prompts the view to consider the drawing process itself.
Every year I look forward to seeing our 3-D student submissions. They are always highly creative, with ideas that are beautifully brought to fruition. One of my personal favorites this year is “Whale?” by James Davenport.
“Whale?” is a ceramic work featuring the body of a whale with the face of a hippo. The land/sea package beautifully evokes nature at large.
James’ other work, “Triangles” was constructed from various triangularly-created clay shapes. The unexpected countering of a natural and green living subject against the variety of greens seen in the glazing of the man-made ceramic piece allows us to enjoy multiple aspects of contrasting visual elements. The well-potted opening bring our eyes into an alluded rocky crevice. Our eyes are then led along the tendril growth path, ever reaching, outward and into the world.
This year’s show had so many wonderful 3-D works. Susan Edgington paired two lovely dark ceramic works, “Dark Twist,” on the left and on the right, Sentinel,”
Brendan Curley’s, “Worship Box” is made of foam core, plasti-dip, acrylic and wax. The form is modern, austere and yet, with the use of candles dripping down upon the form the box has a human touch to it.
Mona Toukan’s “Left Hand” wonderfully hold’s a delicate flower.
The submissions this year are so creative! Mona also created this wonderful Teapot.
On entering the gallery, Tuvshinbayar Zeveg’s “Mongolian Eagle” powerfully greets visitors to the gallery.
These four charcoal works illustrate the variety and individuality of potential approaches to the the medium. (L to R) Vinh Ly’s “Glass and Paints”; Fran Alexander’s “Water and Glass”; Giuseppe DeLuca’s “Kitchen and Bath”; and Caroline Haggerty;s “Dirty Dishes.”
It’s always a joy to see how how much time students spend on their creations! Fran Alexanders, “Water and Glass” exemplifies the beauty of working with a slow layered approach.
Dirty Dishes is also a wonderfully creative work. The assignment incorporates putting kitchen items in inappropriate places. The bathroom fits this to a T!
Kirsten Ponticelli’s 3-D relief work, titled “Made with Love, Trash” is full of color, texture and story . She incorporated found items into a swirled galaxy of visual delight. The more one looks, the more interesting items one finds!
`The reception offered a wonderful evening to learn more about art and our student artists.
Before we knew it, it was time to announce this year’s winners of the 2023 Show! Russ addressed our gallery attendees with an overview of the show and impressed he was with all of the students efforts and the quality of the art.
Our third place winner is Kirsten Ponticelli. Her work (below), “How’d You Vote?” is a clear, simple question providing a direct, visual context. This one piece illustrates our ongoing societal debate at large countered against a visual of America’s unified student experience today.
Nicole LaVallee, our first prize winner was wonderfully surprised!
Nicole won for her beautiful work, “Pomegranate”. I’ve described how much this work has to offer the mind of the viewer (above). The work is so stylistically deliberative. The design is integral to the constructed path for our eye movement and the storyline itself.
Russ spoke of what he loved about her work and how powerful the piece is. He was greatly informative and our students are so appreciative.
We at the NOVA Alexandria campus would like to give big Congratulations to our three winners and to ALL of the students who applied to this year’s show! We have so much talent in our midst! All the students have much to celebrate!
Vinh Ly and our 2-D program teacher, Stacy Slaten at the opening reception of the Juried Exhibition at the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College on April 13th, 2023. Photo by Britt Conley
It was a great night for all and it is no nice to see all the families and friends who come to support everyone.
Along our long wall we have a section for line works. (L-R Below) Ambria Everett’s, “Still Life Contour”
Thanks to all who came to this year’s opening reception and a special thanks to our Provost, Dr. Annette Haggray, our Liberal Arts Dean, Dr. Jimmie McClellan, Associate Dean Lynette Garret and our division angel, May Kim for all their support!
For those considering applying to next year’s show. Anything you make for one of our fine art classes, drawing, fundamentals of design, or painting, from this semester to next Spring, may be submitted to next year’s juried show!