The exhibit was open to all students from any major to submit their pieces. Guest juror Nathaniel Freeman, who is also a painting and media design instructor at the University of Montana Western, received his BFA from the University of Montana in Missoula in 1998 and his MFA from the School of Art + Design at Alfred University in New York in 2005.
His work has been shown nationally and internationally, including at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in Buffalo, New York, the Soap Factory in Minneapolis, the Beijing Film Academy, and the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI). Freeman is the recipient of several artist grants and awards, including a Minnesota State Arts Board grant and a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship. His work has also been featured in the “Wall Street Journal,” “I.D. Magazine,” on NPR, and in “Matter” magazine.
“Being able to be the guest juror of this student show felt like a homecoming for me,” said Freeman during his opening remarks at the reception. “It’s great to be around so many creative students and their work.”
The awards Freeman gave were broken into categories that reflected the wide range of skillsets and conceptual processes behind the submissions. Below are the award winners of the exhibition:
Best of Show – Overall
María B. Gallegos – “Leaving Cheyenne”
Best of Show – Conceptual
Sarrah Eberly – “Black + White”
Best of Show – Technical
Madeline Hogan – “Bohemian Bone”
Laura Latray – “Laces”
Trais Hoisington – “Can’t See Me”
Kelly Wieman – “Perspective”
Mackenzie Duncan – “Half of Me”
Sabrina Hanson – “The Season Begins”
Augustina Wofford – “Off The Grid”
Samara Brunet – “I’ll find my way home.”
“I really liked the experience because it allowed me to see all the different directions that art can take,” said Montana Western sophomore Sabrina Hanson.
Hanson’s work featured a detailed graphite drawing of elk in the field, reflecting her interest in both wildlife biology and hunting.
Student Loney Cox was excited to share her ceramics work, a medium she had never worked in before.
“This was my first time working with ceramics and glaze, and I’m excited to do more,” she said.
Biology major Laura Latray, from Cut Bank, Mont., was recommended to explore Montana Western by her high school teacher, an alumnus of the University.
“My high school art teacher, Bill Hannah, encouraged me to check out Montana Western. I am now a Biology major, and I plan to go to medical school after I graduate.”
Augustina Wofford, who received an honorable mention for her piece “Off the Grid,” also entered one of her needle felting sculptures of a life-like penguin. She was able to include several fine details with different colors of wool.
“I created my sculpture in my Fiber Arts class. It took a lot of time, but it was exciting to create art that I was able to enter in the show.”
For more information about the Fine Arts Gallery, please contact Aja Mujinga Sherrard by email at [email protected], or call 406-683-7313.