Aug 05, 2020

Open gallery, open minds

A milky fish sculpture, a giant Oreo and a woman putting on lipstick.

Unique pieces were submitted to the university’s annual student exhibition.

The students’ art is waiting to be judged by George Blair and Diedre Mitzler, guest judges.

The artists who are a part of the exhibit, Creative Fresno State, can earn $4,000 to $20,000 this Dec. 11 when their work is judged.

Any student attending Fresno State has the opportunity to submit their work. If a piece is judged favorably, it is displayed in the gallery where it can be bought for up to $4,000.

Students can view the art pieces from Dec. 11 to Jan. 22 at the Conley Gallery in the department of Art and Design.

The gallery will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The main event, however, is on the first day and artists will be available to answer questions about their pieces. 

“This is the culminating event for the gallery,” said Carol Hartman, Gallery Director. “This event is not just open to the art department students, but to anyone who is taking an art class and wants to show their work.”

The gallery is an open gallery, which means any painting or sculpture can be displayed without a theme. However, not all the pieces that are submitted are displayed. In past occasions hundreds of pieces have been judged, only to display a few.

“If it is rejected, you need to find out why,” Hartman said. “It could be the medium or a theme — maybe it is not skilled enough. You don’t want someone to tell you what you should be doing as an artist. It’s not just about skill, but the creativity beyond the skill.”

Despite the rejections, the gallery serves as a first taste of what the real world will be like for an artist.
This year 38 students, most of them fine arts students, will be in charge of the entire gallery, from coming up with pieces to serving food.

“The toughest part is getting everything done in time,” Hartman said. “Once I had one of the organizers cry because it was so much pressure.”

“I want them to go through this so it won’t be so frightening when they are there,” Hartman said. “You can put as much work together as you want, but if you don’t show it no one is going to know it is out there. And no one is going to knock at your door and ask you if you want to show your work.”

According to Hartman, they are expecting anywhere from 400 to 500 people to attend. She said that one does not need to be an art connoisseur to attend.

“It is not a church, you don’t have to whisper,” Hartman said. “It is for fun. You can ask questions and not feel stupid.”

This will be Hartman’s last time participating in the gallery. She will be retiring to have more time to work on her own art.

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