MFA candidates to be showcased in Biennial Exhibition

January 13, 2017


“Study x,” an oil painting by MFA candidate Adrianna Spears, hangs at Parish Press.

“Study x,” an oil painting by MFA candidate Adrianna Spears, hangs at Parish Press. – Tech Talk photo file

Starla Gatson
News Editor | sjg021@latech.edu


Many art students hope for the opportunity to showcase their work. During the Fourth Louisiana Biennial-National Juried Exhibition, two of Louisiana Tech’s master of fine arts candidates will get the opportunity to do just that.


The exhibition, which will run Jan. 26-Feb.16, allows artists to submit works to be reviewed and judged by a nationally-known curator or art historian. After reviewing the work, the curator selects the pieces that will be displayed.


The exhibition will be displayed in the F. Jay Taylor Visual Arts Center. 


Nicole Duet, gallery director for Tech’s School of Design, said this year’s exhibit will feature works from 42 artists across the United States, including Tech students Jonathan Clayton and Adrianna Speer.


“This year’s juror is Rachel Cook, curator at DiverseWorks in Houston,” she said. “Through a blind jurying process, Cook viewed over 800 works submitted, including painting, drawing, printmaking, book arts, photography, sculpture, ceramics and video.”


The artist awarded Best in Show will receive a prize of $500 and a solo exhibition to be unveiled in the School of Design in the fall.


Clayton, a graduate photography student, said he is honored to have been selected for the exhibition and hopes his work is well received.


“The piece of work that was accepted is titled ‘Praise’,” he said. “The photograph was made at a small church in Cheneyville, Louisiana. I have spent the past six to seven months documenting that town. It is a small town in central Louisiana that is slowly dying away.  ‘Praise’ addresses the important role that church and faith has in such small towns.”


Clayton said he also hopes his photograph demonstrates the excellence of Tech’s art program.


“I do not come from an art background,” he said. “However, the program here has done so much in strengthening my understanding of art and has truly made me an artist rather than just a photographer.”


Speer, a graduate studio art student, said her painting, titled “Relic,” is part of her most recent body of work. 


“It’s a very new painting, so I’m elated to see that it already has a presence and made a connection with Rachel Cook,” she said. “An idea for this painting had been circulating in my head for a while. Since I was so sure of the image I wanted to create, it was a pretty quick execution.”


Speer said she is privileged to represent the university in the exhibition and credits her professors for pushing her to create works she can take pride in.


“To know that my painting was chosen out of 800 or so works entered is special,” Speer said. “My professors here in the School of Design have been an incredible source of wisdom, sturdy support system and have pushed me to my limits and beyond to make meaningful work.”


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