April 27 – May 6, 2006
This statement is intended to present some of the criteria that we used in selecting the 33 exhibited works from the many submissions. It is not intended as an explanation for why any particular work was included or excluded. All undergraduate work is a work in progress, so to speak, so some flexibility in applying these criteria was present; all the same, they were where we began the winnowing process.
Most important to us were two aspects of the work: One, that its level of technical execution do justice to the concept. Two, that it avoid at least the most obvious clichés. After that, were the clarity of the idea and the clarity of material resolution. Carl André once said that the fault of most mediocre art is not that it lacks an idea, but that it has too many ideas competing within the same piece. This is often true of student work as well. The pieces that we selected have a level of unity and a sense of self-identity that make them seem clear and confident. Conversely, some pieces that were not included had the makings of interesting pieces, but were still cluttered with too many ideas, or with fuzzy resolutions.
We admire work that has social and/or political engagement, and it's rewarding to see young artists seek to engage their art in the real world of human affairs. We selected works where the ideas being engaged were dealt with in a thoughtful and imaginative way; we did not include works of this nature in which the statement being made seemed overly obvious or emotionally overwrought.
After the final selection of artwork, we then set about laying out the work in the gallery in a manner that would create a dialogue among the works. For example, choosing to display straight-forward photography, though with intense imagery, alongside a painting whose imagery and process was intimately involved with a world over determined by photo- and electronic-based media. Additionally, we hope that the selection of less than the usual amount of work provides breathing space so that each work can be considered on its own and without visual clutter.
With the winnowing process done, we feel the exhibited works represent a level of quality that is impressive in undergraduate work, and also represents a real diversity of ideas and approaches to art making. Collectively, they have a vitality and energy of which the university and artists represented should be proud. Finally, our compliments to the award winners. These works are confident, clear, and interesting.
-Chris Scoates, Director, California State University Art Museum and
-Tyler Stallings, Chief Curator, Laguna Art Museum
Juror's First Prize
Diana M. Robbins
Fabric on canvas
Juror's Second Prize
Hanger, shirt, printed paper
Juror's Third Prize
Creation / Destruction
Acrylic on canvas
Spray paint and acrylic
Rebecca H. Youssef
Spray paint on paper