Students Curate and Showcase Work for Annual Bachelor of Arts Exhibition

April 29, 2019

This year’s annual Bachelor of Arts Exhibition (BAX), which showcases third- and fourth-year student’s studio art pieces, marks the 20th spring that Faulconer Gallery has hosted student artwork.

Student examines artwork at BAX

Beginning in 2000, the gallery hosted the Student Art Salon, which included artwork from students all over campus. That event eventually morphed in 2013 into BAX. While students on the Studio Art Student Educational Policy Committee (SEPC) manage most of the exhibition details, from the submission of proposals to selection of a juror, Faulconer Gallery staff step in to help guide the process.

“We’ve been doing this for 20 years now,” says Milton Severe ’87, director of exhibition design, who works closely with students to curate and install the show. “We put as much of the planning as possible directly into the student’s hands. We want to make this as much of a professional experience for the students that we can.”

This year, there are 39 pieces in the show, submitted by 23 studio art students. Students chose Chicago-based visual artist and cultural historian Verónica Casado Hernández as the BAX juror. Prizes cover a variety of categories, including photography, sculpture, and painting. The best-in-show award provides the winner with a $500 cash prize.

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This is the first year that studio art major Bojana Crnomarkovic ’20 has participated in BAX. She says the lessons she is learning while putting the show together will certainly give her skills for a postgraduation career.

We put out the call for submissions, we all help each other edit that and then we do social media outreach. We select a juror. We do a lot of the actual physical installing of the work and getting it all in the gallery. It's definitely a collaborative effort, and we are all learning so much,” she said.

Crnomarkovic says the best part of participating in BAX is the opportunity to show work in a professional gallery setting.

Active Student Voice in Allocating Resources

“We’ve all put in so much work, and we’re really proud of just seeing it come together like this. And then we get the chance to see our pieces exhibited in this really nice gallery space that we might not otherwise have access to — that is super exciting.”

From New York to Paris, most artists relish showing off their work in the College’s Faulconer Gallery, Severe says.

“We have a gorgeous gallery, and it’s a thrill to show here — people love it,” Severe says. “We've had a lot of artists over the years coming from places where spaces are premium, but they look at our gallery and are just delighted to show in this space. Likewise, I think the students are really appreciative of being able to have their work shown in such a beautiful, professional gallery space.”

BAX occurs every April and runs for four weeks at the Faulconer Gallery in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

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