Every year the University hosts several commencement competitions, including the Art and Photography Contest, which will focus on students’ individual interpretation of the word ‘blue’ this year.
Jay Bopp, chair of the Division of Art and Design, said all art majors are required to submit an original piece, with no assistance from staff, faculty or friends. The students must come up with the idea themselves and bring that idea to life through their work, Bopp said.
A committee of the art and design faculty will judge the submitted pieces to decide which ones will progress in the competition. The faculty will evaluate the pieces in their individual discipline, which includes graphic design, studio art, interior design, photography and apparels, textiles and design.
Using a type of ballot system, the faculty will vote on the pieces, and the pieces that are overlapped with votes will be the winners.
Bopp said this year’s contest theme—“blue”—will allow for individual creativity.
“We purposely picked something ambiguous,” Bopp said. “Obviously there is the color blue and the emotion blue, but we wanted to make it something that maybe students could find other ways of representing ‘blue.’”
Olivia Matthews, a sophomore graphic design major, used the theme ‘blue’ to depict a hard subject.
“I addressed the issue of depression and suicide,” Matthews said. “And the buildup of ‘blue’ events and circumstances that hold someone in bondage and cause them to take their own life.”
Matthews said her artwork from last year did not make it into the finals but that it was still a great opportunity to compare her work to others’ work and to make improvements based on what she was seeing.
While art and design majors are required to enter the contest, all students are welcome to participate. The winning pieces will be displayed in Exhibition Corridor in the Sargent Art Building April 27 through May 8.