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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

BAX: A culminating celebration of student art

This afternoon, the Bachelor of Arts Exhibition (BAX) will open in Faulconer Gallery. The show will display projects created by third and fourth-year Grinnell studio art students, including a diverse array of mediums and feature work from students studying multiple disciplines.

The show, which has been facilitated by the Art SEPC, continues in the tradition of the “Student Salons,” which have showcased student artwork in past years. The newly renamed exhibition features several policy changes, including an earlier starting date and a new limitation on submissions to third and fourth-year students. The selection process has also been modified to allow more students a chance to display their work in a professional setting.

While in previous years an outside juror selected all pieces that will be showcased from a wider range of submissions, the juror’s role is now limited to awarding prizes to pieces in the show for such categories as sculpture, photography and best in show. This year’s juror will be Ben Heywood, Executive Director of The Soap Factory, a Minneapolis gallery and alternative art space.

Hannah Fiske ’14, one of the event’s organizers, feels that these changes will help to facilitate a more positive artistic environment.

“[Sometimes in past years] seniors would not get their work into the show and they wouldn’t have a chance to celebrate their time as a studio major at Grinnell, so this allows people to [display their work] even if their vision doesn’t coincide with the juror’s image of how the show will go,” Fiske said. “This gives them a venue to show their work off in a much more inclusive and celebratory way.”

Fiske hopes that the exhibition can serve the dual purpose of presenting student work to the Grinnell community and giving aspiring artists a chance to test their skills in a professional gallery setting.

Eden Marek ’15, one of the event’s organizers whose work will also be featured in the exhibition, valued the chance offered to her by the exhibition to grapple with the unexpected realities of working for a gallery show, which ranged from the surprising amount of time taken by a collaborative work to the physical concerns posed by mounting pieces on a wall.

Fiske and Marek feel that the show has the potential to inspire increased student involvement in the arts scene on campus. Many of the pieces featured in the show reflect the interdisciplinary efforts of students studying in fields as diverse as physics, music and English. They represent artistic endeavors ranging from performance art to sculpture and printmaking.

Moreover, say Fiske and Marek, BAX is only one of many venues in which students can present their work.

“More students should be putting together pop-up art shows,” Marek said. “There are so many spaces in which art can be shown, it’s great. There are many more ample opportunities that people could do … I think hopefully we’ll have a surge of some more pieces coming up around campus.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article included an incorrect spelling of Ben Heywood’s name, along with incomplete biographic information. The article has been amended to correct these errors.

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