Tuesday, April 9, 2013

University of New Orleans Opens Ernest and Shirley Svenson Drawing Competition and Exhibition

The University of New Orleans Fine Arts Department hosts this week an opening reception and awards ceremony for its 14th Annual Ernest and Shirley Svenson Drawing Competition and Exhibition.

The department's esteemed undergraduate drawing competition is a juried exhibition held annually at UNO with the support of the Ernest and Shirley Svenson Foundation, said Kathy Rodriguez, research specialist and fine arts instructor at the University. The free competition is designed to allow undergraduate students a chance to compete and show their work at no cost in a professional setting.

The opening reception for the exhibition starts at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, at the Fine Arts Gallery on campus, Rodriguez said. The exhibit includes 30 works selected from among 90 submissions by UNO undergraduate students. All are welcome to attend the event, which includes an award ceremony for the competition's most successful works.

Every year, a juror selected by the UNO Fine Arts Department, typically an alumnus or alumna and a team of faculty, reviews the works submitted by students and chooses the most success for various awards, including cash prizes, said Rodriguez. The exhibition typically remains on view for one month during the spring semester.

This year, UNO M.F.A. alumnus Jonathan Mayers served as the awarding juror.  Faculty members Richard Johnson, Ariya Martin, Aaron McNamee and Dan Rule chose the drawings to be included in the exhibition. Judging took place Friday, April 5.

Winners of the Ernest and Shirley Svenson Award and the Juror's Award will be announced at the reception opening reception. These honors come with cash awards. Other honorable mentions will receive certificates.

"The medium of drawing is somewhat open to interpretation by the student," said Rodriguez.  "They've submitted prints, sculptures, even videos that use drawing techniques like line. Typically, though, it's a pretty traditional drawing show.  The Department uses it as a teaching tool for students, especially those enrolled in drawing classes, and it gives students an opportunity to exhibit in a professional venue during their undergraduate careers.  Plus, they have an opportunity to be recognized by an award!"