Schmucker Art Gallery features “Nourish” and student art

nourish exhibit

Photo courtesy of Khun Minn Ohn.

By Daniella Snyder, Editor in Chief

Two weeks ago, the walls of the Schmucker Art Gallery were painted a springtime pink and yellow.

100 submissions were dragged, wheeled, or carried in by students enrolled in studio classes this semester. The juror selected 50 works of student art. Gallery attendants nailed lotus pods and baskets into the wall.

Then, 200 people entered the Schmucker Art Gallery for the opening reception of their annual Student Juried Exhibition to hear the winning artwork announced by Laura Amussen, local artist and juror.

Laura Amussen is an award-winning artist, the director of exhibitions and curator at Goucher College,and an educator at Towson University.

Amussen’s collection of work, titled “Nourish,” sits in Schmucker’s Project: Space. Amussen worked with an environmental artist, and utilized leaves, lunar annua seeds, sticks and moss to create an earthy and warm environment in the smaller gallery space, especially combined with the complementary dark brown walls.

On Amussen’s work, Schmucker Art Gallery director Shannon Egan said, “In a cultural and political moment that is incredibly fraught, [Amussen’s work] provides the viewer with a kind of artistic and personal philosophy that draws on Buddhist teachings and meditative practice,” she said.

Amussen, during her gallery talk, reflected on the ways in which her work focuses on the ideas of self-care and self- love. “She titles her exhibition “Nourish” in order to encourage the viewer to think more broadly about how needs and desires can be satiated and sustained,” Egan said.

Amussen was also very intentional with the shapes of her work as well as the gallery space itself. Egan commented that the circular form of each artwork also repeats itself in the way the viewer actually travels around the gallery, another tie back to Buddhist influences.

During her gallery talk, Amussen said that she selected works of student art that showed true visionary. She wanted the art to be risk-taking, made by those unafraid to “f*ck up,” according to the juror.

And that’s exactly what the student juried exhibition displays: risky, emotionally charged and commanding works of art.

“I am particularly impressed with how the works convey various kinds of narratives, the students’ experiments in different media, as well as the ambitious scale of several of the works,” Egan said.

“Laura Amussen did an outstanding job selecting really compelling works.”

Most works of art feature some sort of political undertone. One painting by senior Molly Chason, called “#seaofpink” incorporates actual news articles from the Women’s March on Washington. Another painting by Inayah Sherry, “Deliver us from evil”, emblematic of Egan’s “ambitious scale” comment, demands its own entire wall in a large, triangular shape featuring ideas consistently discussed in political debate: guns, fetuses, and rainbow hearts.

Both exhibitions will be on display until Apr. 22.

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