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Gotta have G.U.T.S.

January 28, 2016

 

Mariel Davenport, a senior photography major, poses with her “How to Make A Monster”art book–Photo by Brian Blakely

Mariel Davenport, a senior photography major, poses with her “How to Make A Monster”art book–Photo by Brian Blakely

 

Students across North Louisiana display artwork at Enterprise Center exhibition

 

CALEB DANIEL

Staff Reporter | csd020@ latech.edu

 

College artists from across northeast Louisiana gathered in the Rawle Enterprise Center on Jan. 22 to display their artwork at the sixth annual Art from the G.U.T.S. exhibition.

 

Art from the G.U.T.S. (Grambling, ULM, Tech and Shreveport) showcases collegiate artistic talent along the I-20 corridor.

 

Hannah Bustamante, gallery director,  said the showcase serves as beneficial experience for students.

 

“A lot of times, the students have never applied to a show before, and this is a good opportunity for them to learn how to do that before they hit the professional world,” Bustamante said. “It’s a little less intimidating and more of a learning experience.”

 

Students view Davenports artwork, “I Will Kill You With My Bear Hands,” at the G.U.T.S. gallery held at the Enterprise Center–Photo by Brian Blakely

Students view Davenports artwork, “I Will Kill You With My Bear Hands,” at the G.U.T.S. gallery held at the Enterprise Center–Photo by Brian Blakely

The showcase featured pieces from 17 student artists and encompassed a wide array of styles and media.

 

The exhibition doubled as a competition, with best-in-show, first, second and third place designations awarded by an independent juror.

 

Best-in-show went to “How to Make a Monster,” a handmade book created by Tech senior photography major Mariel Davenport.

 

“I wasn’t expecting to win at all,” Davenport said. “I do things that are a bit creepy or off-putting to most people, so I didn’t really expect people to like them.”

 

The book included art on the inside and outside.

 

The cover was decorated with real coyote teeth, while the pages themselves depicted in words and drawings the process of turning a regular animal into a monster.

 

“I’ve always been a huge fan of horror,” Davenport said. “I used to write, so I wanted to incorporate both of those into this work. I wanted to write a book that I would have enjoyed as a kid myself, instead of some regular kid book about a cute bunny.”

 

This year’s juror was Patrick Horne, a computer graphics/video effects artist and 2004 Tech alumnus.

 

Horne said he was immediately drawn to Davenport’s book.

 

“I thought that it captured the minds and imagination of pretty much anybody who would see it, from young children to aging adults,” he said. “It’s just a whimsical piece of art that I really wish I could have sitting on my shelf.”

 

The first-place piece was “Strings Attached” by Tech junior studio art major Sarah Prescott. Horne described the work as a blend of two different media.

 

“The artist combined sculpture with painting, which is extremely difficult to pull off well,” Horne said. “And the sculptural aspects actually influenced the painting itself, which is something that I’ve never seen done effectively.”

 

Prescott’s artwork is essentially a painting on a canvas stretched over a frame and suspended from the ceiling. The subject matter of the painting itself is up to interpretation, and that was the way Prescott liked it.

 

“I try to keep ambiguity in my work because I want the viewer to be able to perceive and project whatever they want onto it,” she said.

 

Prescott said she appreciated both the variety and unity of the showcase as a whole.

 

“The show was very cohesive,” she said. “The juror did a good job picking pieces that are unique and indicative of student work but also flow together as one body.”

 

Prescott said everyone appreciates art on some level, even if they do not know it.

 

“People naturally gravitate toward things that are beautiful,” Prescott said. “It’s just a consequence of being human.”

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