CULLOWHEE – Judges for Western Carolina University ‘s 2004 Annual Student Art Exhibition awarded “Best in Show” honors to senior Joel Queen for his sculpture “Drifting,” one of 185 entries in this year’s competition.
Queen’s work also claimed first prize in the sculpture category. A graduate of Cherokee High whose clay masks are on display in Western’s A.K. Hinds University Center, Queen is known for the Native American art he reproduced for a permanent display at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home in Virginia.
Second prize for sculpture went to Rahma “Rockie” Mateen, a 1992 graduate of Ben L. Smith High School in Greensboro, for a steel and jute sculpture titled “Papillions et Colepteres pour Aquilla.”
Western’s prestigious Chancellor’s Purchase Prize went to Matt Zales, a 1998 graduate of Southeast Guilford High in Greensboro, for his abstract painting of a family portrait. Zales’ work, which also won the show’s best painting award, will be on permanent display in the new museum of art when it opens in the Fine and Performing Arts Center on the Cullowhee campus later this year. Second prize for painting went to Phyllis Jarvinen for “Oil and Water Don’t Mix.”
The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Purchase Prize went to John Speier, who also won the first place award for drawing. Alex Westray, a 2003 graduate of Apex High School in Wake County, won second place in the drawing category for his work titled “Facial Cross-Contour Study.”
Lakisha Blount, a 1996 graduate of Murphy High School in Cherokee County, won first prize in the printmaking category for “Revolution Creates the New Person,” a graphic design portfolio. Second place for printmaking went to Amanda Arendale, a 1996 graduate of Carolina Day School in Asheville, for “The Bowman and Lion.”
The Caledonia Pottery Award for Functional Ceramics went to Alyssa Ritchel, a 1999 graduate of Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem, for her “Platter,” a piece of highfire stoneware. Ritchel’s entries in this year’s exhibit also included a teapot and a pitcher, both highfire stoneware with brushwork.
The prize for best graphic went to Cameron Zotter for “Industrial Revolution: Mass Production, Cities, Steel, Railroads, Construction.” Second place went to Tim Meyer for “Alphabet Flash Cards.”
First prize for best photography went to Adrienne Benson for a photo called “The Funeral; Saying Goodbye.” Second prize went to Vanita Carlson for “Shoes and Shadows.” A special award for photography, named for Jonathan Williams, went to Susan Martin for “Scarred Tree.”
The Twentieth-Century Club Purchase Prize went to Rachelle Currie, for her self portrait in acrylic, pencil, charcoal and paper on canvas, titled “Situation,” which will remain in Western’s collection.
Martin DeWitt, whose exhibition practicum students helped set up this year’s juried art display, said the competition will be the last to be held in the Belk Building, which has hosted the annual student art exhibition since about 1972. Next year, the Annual Student Art Exhibition, which is cosponsored by the Art Students League and Western’s department of art, will be housed in the university’s new museum of art, which DeWitt will direct within the Fine and Performing Arts Center.
This year’s exhibition was judged by Brad Thomas, director and curator of the Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College, and by Dian Magie, director of the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design in Hendersonville. Prizes included awards of cash, as well as gift certificates, books, art supplies and other donations from individuals and businesses in Asheville, Cullowhee and Sylva.