The work of seven award-winning students debuted recently at the University of Miami Art Gallery’s 2017 Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition. Each year the Department of Art and Art History holds an art competition open to all student work created in any medium in an art course that year.
A guest juror, typically a distinguished gallery director, curator, or art critic, selects pieces from the submitted artwork and awards cash prizes to outstanding student artists.
The multi-lingual Elizaveta Kolesnikova, 22, graduates in May with a double major in Latin American studies and art, and a minor in modern languages. A full-time student at UM, she also works part-time as an art adviser in a Miami Beach gallery.
“When I applied for the juried competition I was surprised my drawings were selected. It is the first time my work is being shown in a gallery,” said Kolesnikova. In addition to her passion for studying art since age nine, she speaks five languages and grew up in London, England. Kolesnikova won two awards, the Oberman Family Endowed Award and the Community Figure Drawing Group Award.
“As the oldest student in the class, I enjoy having my work critiqued by other students and also critiquing and offering advice to them,” said Sergio Rodriguez, 74, a non-degree seeking art student and UM retiree. His three submissions of multimedia work received the Art Department Painting Award. He uses inkjet printing to convert silk screening to print and then, painting it with acrylics, latex, color pencils, gouaches and collages. Since 2007, when he retired as vice president of UM’s real estate, planning and facilities he has been painting at least twice a week and also exercising at UM’s Wellness Center.
Guest juror David Castillo holds degrees in History and Art History from Yale University and the Angelicum in Rome. Since 2000, he assists private clients to build their collections in addition to managing David Castillo Gallery. Previously, Castillo held positions at museums, including the Yale University Art Gallery’s American Decorative Arts curatorial department.
UM Frost School of Music master’s student Brandin Kreuder, 23, is a viola performance major and completed his undergraduate degree in music and art at Lawrence University in Wisconsin. Art was Kreuder’s main passion before he found music; he always loved drawing and dabbled in ceramics before the age of 10, when he began playing violin.
“I’ve pursued both music and art for different reasons. Playing music allows me to be organized, and expressing emotion through music brings me pleasure. Creating visual art provides me with a sense of stability and function,” said Kreuder. He added that creating physical artwork is more fulfilling than playing contemporary music. He gets the best of both worlds doing both. Kreuder also won two awards, the Jose Bernardo Ceramics Award and the Juror’s Best in Show Award.
Cooper March, 21, from Springboro, Ohio is graduating in May and in the fall will enroll at Vanderbilt Medical School. He discovered his passion for art before biology, and credits his eighth-grade art teacher who showed him how to focus and express himself through art. As a freshman, his former UM art professor encouraged him to pursue art as a career while taking an introductory sculpture class. As an explorer of art March used his UM education to pursue glass blowing and dark room photography, which he wouldn’t have otherwise.
“I believe my brain enjoys creating art and studying science. Art allows me to appreciate the gray areas of science, since everything is not defined and it can lead to discovering new possibilities. Science encourages my skepticism while I search for meaning in art,” said March.
At medical school he’s interested in studying surgery since creating art helped his motor skills and spatial reasoning. He’s gravitating toward a rapidly expanding discipline, interventional radiology, as it combines the interpretive aspect of looking at a scan and the practical application when performing surgery. March’s abstract self-portrait sculpture won the “Jean Ward Sculpture Award.”