Jamestown Community College honored its finest student artists Thursday night.
In a reception in the Sarita Hopkins Weeks Reception Hall, nine students from the JCC campuses received excellence awards. Kyla Hill, of Jamestown, claimed the biggest prize of all, winning the JCC Alumni Association Renaissance Award.
Hill, who has a 3.86 GPA, is an experienced cellist and is enrolled in the college's Manufacturing Technology Institute welding program. She has taken courses ranging from drawing and painting to physics and trigonometry.
JCC Art Exhibition
"Kyla Hill, she probably exemplifies that award as much as anyone else," said James Colby, Weeks Gallery director of exhibitions and galleries.
"She's incredibly well-rounded and certainly fits the title of 'renaissance person,' which I would define as someone who works really well with their left and right brain and brings that all together for critical thinking and critical imagining," Colby continued. "She is perfect for that award."
Hill's artwork reminds Colby of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings. He said her figures demonstrate her ability to reveal more than outward physical traits.
At top from left: JCC’s Student Art Exhibition 2012 excellence award winners Monica Hvizdzak, Christopher Howard, Sam Whittaker, John Latona, Julie Labesky, Madeline Schlick, Abigail Hanson and Kyla Hill are pictured in the Weeks Gallery. Absent is Catherine Carpenter.
P-J photo by Scott Shelters
Chanda Glendinning, the exhibition's juror, said Hill was the obvious choice for the Renaissance Award.
"The overall quality really stood out," she said. "The other people who were competing for the big prize all have work in the show. It wasn't that there was no competition at all."
Glendinning, a former JCC student, received her Master of Fine Arts from Kansas State University.
"I was really excited to be asked to come back and jury an art show at one of my alma maters," she said. "When I juried the show, I was looking for quality of work and conceptual creativity. The challenge was to pick between good, better and best. The harder part was to select the overall winner based on a portfolio, looking at what they do in different mediums. Then, it's not just about execution of the work, and it's not just about craftsmanship. It's also about whether they can carry their concept from one medium to another: from drawing to painting, to photography to print-making, even over to ceramics or something 3-D."
This year's exhibition features the works of more than 50 students. Judges selected from more than 300 submissions, including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, 2-D and 3-D works, ceramics, and digital media.
Other award winners included Monica Hvizdzak (Art History Excellence), Julie Labesky (Photography Excellence), Madeline Schlick (Drawing Excellence), Christopher Howard (Painting Excellence), John Latona (2-D Excellence), Abigail Hanson (3-D Excellence), Catherine Carpenter (Ceramics Excellence) and Sam Whittaker (Director's Choice Award for Painting and Drawing).
Following the awards ceremony, Infinity Performing Arts student Oliver Burdo entertained the crowd with his guitar and voice.
The student art exhibition will run through Thursday, May 10. Gallery hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Weeks Gallery is closed on all college holidays.
Colby believes gallery visitors will like what they see.
"I say the same thing every year: it's absolutely awesome," Colby said. "This year, in some ways, it might be better because the juror was more selective. We then allow more space around the works, and they're not all jammed in. I think there was a little extra distilling, and it makes the overall show look better. What we try to do with the juring is to get work that's definitely of an exceptional college level."
Visit weeksgallery.sunyjcc.edu for more information on the student exhibition and other gallery programs.