Student art will own the spotlight during two exhibits showing from Wednesday, April 7, through Wednesday, May 5, at the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University.
The public is invited to a free reception for the exhibits from 4 to 6 p.m. April 7.
Art on display will include pieces from the Art Students’ League 2010 exhibit and a competition to create a portrait of a former WCU instructor. Award winners from both exhibits will be honored at a 5 p.m. ceremony during the reception.
Based on the strength of previous work, six graduate and undergraduate students from the School of Art and Design were invited to create portraits of the late Josefina Niggli, an author, actress and former WCU drama instructor whom the university is honoring with a yearlong series of events. These finalists were encouraged to create portraits that, while highly expressive, would reflect a “recognizable characterization” of Niggli and faithfully express her “dynamic persona,” according to competition guidelines. The Niggli portraits will be on display in FAPAC Gallery 130, adjacent to the Fine Art Museum’s Star Lobby.
A five-member committee of WCU faculty and staff will select the winning entry. That portrait will become part of the College of Fine and Performing Art’s collection and will be installed permanently in the lobby of Niggli Theatre. The artist will receive a $500 purchase award.
Eighty-two students from all disciplines submitted work for the ASL show, with judges selecting 78 pieces from approximately 330 entries. Media ranges from Web site design to large-scale sculpture to conceptual environmental pieces as well as ceramics, painting and photographs. Student artwork will be for sale.
“The diversity and volume of submitted works speaks well of the commitment to the arts by the artists,” according to a statement from judges Sallie and Tom Taylor. “We chose the artworks that had a strong and lingering visual impact upon us, expressed a strong idea and were executed with skill and craftsmanship.”
Fine Art Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The museum is closed Sundays, Mondays and university holidays. For more information about the Niggli portrait competition, contact Martin DeWitt, curator and founding director of the Fine Art Museum, at 828-227-2553 or firstname.lastname@example.org.