Students get ‘primed’ in art exhibit


Photo: Nicole Wiegand/Iowa State Daily

Vistors to “Primed,” the senior BFA exhibit in Gallery 181 of the College of Design, check out “Artgasm,” an arcylic mural painted directly on the western wall of the gallery, on Wednesday, April 11. The mural was completed by Arty Vongphakdy, Robbie Sedain, Robert Songkham, Thomas Gissel and Michelle Canada, all seniors in integrated studio art. 

Alexandra Smith

The 2012 BFA Juried Senior Student Exhibit called “Primed” was this Wednesday night in the Gallery Room of the College of Design. Katy Stone was the appointed juror. There were 90 student-made artwork pieces of ceramics, drawing, digital media, fiber, metal, mixed media, painting, photography and printmaking entered.

The deemed winners of the exhibit were: third place, Ashlin Travers; second place, Thomas Gissel; and first place, Dillon Baker. All three are seniors in integrated studio arts. Then the best in show went to Alex Ragaller for his portrait drawing called “John H. Portrait.”

“Portraiture will always be special to me,” Ragaller said. Ragaller started his project last semester and then picked it back up this semester to complete it for the exhibit. He started his artwork in a upper level art class where the objective was to pick a theme and embody it in the work.

Stone commented on the work saying it was technically masterful.

“It showed complexity and strong emotion,” Stone said. Stone also stated the material was incredible.

Ragaller used graphite in the artwork.

“The underlying structure was abstract and representative together at the same time,” Stone said. Stone also commented on the strong psychological presence in the piece.

Gissel, the student winning second place, entered a metal mask that he created. He got his theme for the mask because he had always been interested in science fiction, and that is what inspired him.

“My piece has a big presence and is intimidating,” Gissel said.

Stone commented on the mask saying she loved the craft of it.

“It wasn’t overly crafted, it had imperfections that were lovely,” Stone said.

The exhibit brought out very artistic and creative artwork for the senior class of Integrated Studio Arts.

“All the pieces were individualized and the show had a wide range of work,” Stone said.

Stone was looking for a lot of things but explained how hard it is to judge artwork because the artist will always be subjective in what they are looking for.

“I was looking for something that stopped me and had compelling contrast,” Stone said.

The exhibit also had special mentions for the artwork of students: Desiree Becker, Carl Swenson and Megan Shepherd. The whole exhibition was to honor and recognize the students’ work as they move on into careers.

“All graduating students should follow the passion of art. It’s so worth it,” Stone said.