CSU Student Art Show Celebrates 50 Years

The exhibit is on display at the CSU Galleries until May 28

On the evening of April 19, I attended the opening reception for the Student Art Show and Merit Scholar Exhibition at The Galleries at Cleveland State University. Arriving a little after 5 pm, I browsed the artwork and mingled with others in attendance until the awards ceremony began shortly thereafter. This was my first time attending the awards ceremony event, and it was a rewarding sight to see so many people at the galleries after nearly three years of virtual openings.

At first glance, the sheer variety of works blew me away. There was work of every medium, from drawings and painting to sculpture and photography. The north gallery housed the work of the merit scholars. There were 10 merit scholars for the 2021-22 academic year, seven of which have their work on display.

The awards ceremony opened with a guest performance by CSU Dance Company. Featuring the choreography of Teena Marie Custer, the four company members performed the first section of her piece “The Shade.” Attendees gathered in both the front and North galleries as the dancers performed in the side room between the galleries. Custer stated about the experience, “The opportunity for dance to be involved with art is special and we are happy to be here.”

The dancers, Megan Bryars, Mary Nozak, Saige Rook, and Sydney Adebo, also commented about how it was an interesting process to take a piece that they had previously performed onstage and adapt it to a different space. Bryars shared, “it is cool to get to dance around the students’ works, it is contributing to art in a new way.”

Following the brief performance, announcements from the Department of Art and Design and The Galleries were shared. Including the news that the Peoples’ Art Show, a show that takes place every November and features artwork from the community, will be renamed the Robert Thurmer Art Show, in honor of the retired director of The Galleries.

Moving onto the awards portion of the evening, judges George Kozmon, Nancy Prudic, and Chris Nagle must have had their work cut out for them, with 55 students and 128 works of art. As a viewer, I thought they were all of high quality for student work and each piece differed from the next. There were separate categories for student art of each medium, including sculpture, printmaking, paint, video animation, drawing, and photography.

Along with these were awards for Project 60 and Merit Scholars. Merit scholars are those students who are on scholarship to study art at CSU. Project 60 is a unique offering at CSU that allows Ohio residents over the age of 60 to take part in classes for free. This award went to Jim Triner for “Soaring Sensations.” Then there was the President’s Award, the Alumni Donor Award, and the Best in Show Award.

Depth of Workers Gloves by Mullins-Ness won Best in Show. Photo by Trinity Stevens

The work, “Depth of Workers Gloves,” was awarded Best in Show by Robert Spademan. The piece created by Taelor Mullins-Ness is shown in the picture above. The Alumni Donor award went to Kit Hannum for “Kylea” and the President’s Award went to Annie Merriman for “Portrait of the Artist, as an Old Woman.”

If you could not attend the opening reception but want to see these award-winning works of art and the other notable student works in the exhibit, they will be on display until May 28.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20220422_181006-1.jpg
Award recipients pose for a photo after the ceremony. Photo by Trinity Stevens

The Galleries at Cleveland State University can be found at 1307 Euclid Ave. They welcome the public to view exhibits free Tuesday thru Saturday from hours of noon and 5 p.m. More information is available on their website.

Author: Trinity Stevens

Trinity Stevens is a current student at Cleveland State University majoring in Dance in Community, minoring in Theatre Studies, and pursuing a certificate in Arts Management & Community Development.