Student art in Olson Library

Cali Hunter

For the first time ever, a student art exhibit will be on display in the Lydia M. Olson Library. Students of all majors were encouraged to submit their original art for a chance to win a spot in the exhibit from Feb. 1 to March 11. Dana LaLonde, senior library assistant and NMU alum, said the turnout was more than she had expected, with a total of 147 submissions. Of those submissions, 38 were accepted for the exhibit.re-ArtintheLibrary1_ET

The goal of the exhibit is to promote the arts and create opportunities for students. It also allows students a chance to show their art to their peers. Many of the students have more than one entry in the exhibit. This exhibit gives students, many of whom are not art majors, a chance to create amazing works of art and be recognized for it.

“You never know how your art will influence someone,” LaLonde said.

Students submitted their art using a wide variety of mediums, ranging from cardboard sculptures to acrylic paintings to digital works. One sculpture is even made out of cigarette butts.

Meghan Shannon, a senior english major, won a spot in the exhibit with a unique photography piece.

“In the piece that was chosen for this exhibition, I burned the film negative slide and scanned it into a desktop computer. From there, I did very little digital editing to the image,” Shannon said. “Much of the distortion and color in the finalized, printed photograph is from burning the film negative.”

Many other artists also showed unique techniques much like Shannon did with her work.

“I hope that people react to my piece positively. I know that a lot of people feel indifferent about conceptual work that looks misshapen or weird, but maybe that will intrigue some viewers,” Shannon said.

The artwork was then presented to a board consisting of Steven Hughes, assistant professor in the art and design department, Leslie Warren, professor and Dean of Academic Information Services and Krista Clumpner, professor and art liaison for Academic Information Services. Warren said choosing the finalists was not easy.

“It was tough—it was actually a very tough decision because we had a lot of really great talent that was on display,”
Warren said.

The final pieces were ultimately chosen based on technical skill, aesthetic appeal and the story that the piece told.

“We want the students across campus to have an opportunity to display their talent, to display all of the depths of stories that are around campus,”
Warren said.

A free reception will be held in the library from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 4 in which the winners will be recognized, and prizes will be
given out.

The “Best in Show” winner will receive $100. “Honorable Mention” and the “People’s Choice” winners will each receive $50.

The reception will include a hot cocoa bar and desserts. Students and members of the public are encouraged to attend. Students can also vote on the library’s website from Feb. 1 to Feb. 3 for the “People’s Choice” award.

The art exhibit will also coincide with the “Native Voices” exhibit, a traveling display of Native American perspectives on health and wellness from the National Library of Medicine and the American Library Association.

More information on these events can be found on the library’s website, by contacting LaLonde at [email protected] or at
[email protected]