Posted on: April 23, 2023 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Niki Kowal

Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts Lisa Kelsay awards Rita Jennings first place at Moraine’s annual juried student art exhibition.

By Niki Kowal, Arts & Entertainment Editor

It can be difficult for artists to take the first step: putting their work out on display.

Moraine gave student artists a chance to do so in the annual juried student art exhibition, judged by Chicagoland artist Vida Sačić.

“I didn’t think that my art was good enough to be in here,” first-place winner Rita Jennings said thirty minutes before the awards were announced. 

A sense of nervousness sprinkled with art students’ self-doubt was in the air as students gathered with anticipation in the Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery in the F building on April 13.

Photo by Niki Kowal
Rita Jennings entered her Linocut Stamp, which can be viewed in the Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery in the F building.

Moraine’s assistant dean of liberal arts Lisa Kelsay and art competition coordinator Erik LaGattuta announced the awards. For the students whose pieces were hand-selected by the juror, there were eight awards, some of which came with cash prizes.  

“Art is so subjective, it’s hard to pick winners,” Moraine Valley art gallery coordinator Jackie Lewis said. “There’s a backstory to each piece.”

Jennings–who went on to win three different awards in the exhibition, including first place, the MVCC Purchase Award, and Best in Show–said her pieces were about a personal issue.

“As an adoptee, I wanted to form a narrative about adoption in a way that was true to how I experienced it,” she said. 

Her pieces are meant to be a humorous take on her adoption: “They’re kind of satirical, with a lot of humor in it, for better or worse. 

“The linocut, the actual markings on it come from one of my documents.”

Organizers of the art competition say student artists often lack confidence in their work. Like Jennings, they are hesitant to submit it into the competition for fear it is not good enough.

“One of the biggest things we’re trying to fix is that students don’t put their art in.” Lewis said. “They have so much work and the professors want them to put it in but then they end up not doing it.”

Lewis suggests students fill out this form and hand it to their professor to enter their work for next year.

“Just do it,” Lewis said. “Especially while you’re in college and in school, that’s the time to just send it. In the worst case, you literally just pick it up later or it goes to another building showcase.”

For artists who don’t want to wait until next year’s juried student art competition, the Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery will be hosting a community exhibition after the semester wraps up, open to anyone involved within Moraine and beyond.

The entry cost is $15 per piece and art drop-off begins June 7 and 8. Viewing for the exhibition starts June 17 and ends August 3. 

Winners of Student Juried Art Exhibition

  • MVCC Purchase Award: Rita Jennings
  • Best in Show: Rita Jennings
  • Agree to Degree Award: Fatema Alharsha
  • 1st Place: Rita Jennings, “Family Portrait”
  • 2nd Place: Hailey Cosgrove, “Past and Present”
  • 3rd Place: Marcus Crawley, “Beginning Alone”
  • Honorable Mention: Maria Glikis
  • Honorable Mention: Deja Anderson

These pieces are available for viewing with an indication of what they won until April 30.