Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Cape Girardeau celebrates annual Arts Council Regional Juried Exhibition

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The annual Arts Council of Southeast Missouri's Regional Juried Exhibition will feature 28 pieces from 23 artists from five nearby states. These states include Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. The artists were encouraged to submit works that represented their interpretation of the Southeast region.

Before the entries were accepted into the exhibition, the pieces went through a three-step process. First, they were entered under guidelines given by the Arts Council.

"We had about 80 to 90 entries for the exhibition," Murielle Gaither, director of the Arts Council, said.

Artists were allowed to enter up to three pieces. Gaither said the next step was that the council had third-party jurors come and decide what would be accepted into the show.

"This is a blind jury, which means the jurors will only be able to see the artwork, not the names of the artist," Gaither said.

After the pieces are picked and placed in the gallery, the final step comes into play, and the jury comes through a second time to look at the artwork. They then choose the five award winners. The top prize is the "Best in Show," for which the recipient receives a $500 cash prize. A second-place award and three honorary awards are also given.

The jury this year consisted of Hannah and Blake Sanders. Hannah Sanders is an assistant professor of printmaking at Southeast Missouri State University. Both have had art exhibited across the world.

This show not only benefits the community because it allows patrons to see the different interpretations of the Southeast region, but also the artist.

"Winning these shows allows the artist to build up their portfolio so that one day their art may be featured full time in a gallery," Gaither said.

The show opened on Friday, Dec. 5, which allowed it to be part of the monthly "First Friday" event. Art galleries in downtown Cape Girardeau open their doors for public viewing on the first Friday evening of each month.

This allows the public to view the art that is being created in the community.

Gaither said she expects about 750 people to view the exhibition by the time it closes.

Katherine Miller is a student at Southeast and has one piece of art featured in the exhibition. Her medium of art was screen printing on sculpture.

With this piece, Miller won one of the honorary awards.

"It is always exciting to have work entered in a show because I believe one of the main goals of being a successful artist is to start conversations with art," Miller said.

Miller said her art has been featured locally, regionally, nationally as well as internationally.

Another student artist featured is Emily Thomason, who said her art has been featured in 18 shows.

"It was extremely exciting to find out my art would be featured," Thomason said. "Juried shows, even when they are fairly local, are difficult to get into since you're essentially competing against a larger amount of people. It was also exciting since one of the jurors, Hannah Sanders, is one of the university's faculty members. It is awesome to have own faculty think I not only have quality work, but such so I am included in a regional, multistate show."

The art will be on display until Jan. 31 at the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, located at 32 N. Main St.