Student Art Exhibition: Now Displaying The Best Artwork of CUA (2023-2024)


Photo Courtesy of CUA

By Tess Rempel

The Catholic University opened its Student Art Exhibition on January 25, 2024, in the Salve Regina Gallery. The artwork was created as a result of the University’s art courses and carefully curated to display the best mediums, styles, and expressions.

Art courses relevant to the displays included ART 101 (Fundamentals of Design I), ART 207 (Drawing & Composition for Artists), ART 271 (Introduction to Ceramic Art), ART 312 (Figure Drawing: Sacred Art), and ART 385 (Screen Printing). These courses are primarily offered to undergraduate students in either their sophomore or junior year, but many classes were represented.

The exhibition was free for any who wanted to attend the exhibit, with many CUA students coming to support their artistic friends.

“It was super cool to see all my friends’ hard work throughout all their classes, and seeing everyone else’s talent,” Sara Furtak, senior Media & Communications major, said.

A common theme within the different works explored what it means to be Catholic. 

Emma Smith’s print An Evening in Sainte-Chapelle, for example, beautifully depicts the stained-glass windows of a royal chapel in France. Raphael Trudeau’s Untitled piece, created in charcoal, depicts the female body – strong, sacred, and mysteriously faceless – perhaps, from an audience member’s perspective, to represent the universality of femininity.

Another common theme involved the passion it takes to become an artist and the growth that it requires to flourish.

“I did [create an artwork] in my Art 201 class,” Karla Gunera, senior nursing major, said. “It’s a charcoal drawing called “Stepping Up”. It’s of a ladder because this art class was really hard, so I had to step up a lot to do this one,” Gunera added.

The last common theme represented in these works was a search for self, with an underlying feeling of openness and curiosity. This theme is unsurprising, as young adults are searching for a sense of meaning in their lives and belonging in the world. How this theme was explored, however, was novel and creative.

Some artwork displaying this sense of self-awareness and curiosity included Abigail Rakow’s The Perception of Memory, Catherine Coyle’s Open Window, and Daniel Dennie’s Self-Portrait Project. Together, these three explore the past, present, and future, respectively. With this sequence, the three unrelated artworks can be connected, begging the questions: “Who was I?”, “Who am I now?, and “Who am I becoming?”.

However, not all pieces were limited to screen printing and charcoal. Several artists created ceramic art in the form of jars, bowls, flowers, watering cans, and even body parts. Some of these artists included Liam Jamolod with his pieces Journey and  Manunggul Jar, Michaela Dali with Kamares Ware, as well as Kamilla Rivera-Leyden with Bleeding Heart, Flower and Friend, and Watering Can.

“I thought it was really cool to see the different mediums of art and see how each different medium is specific in and of its own, but each one is really cool,” Gunera said.

For those who were unable to attend the opening ceremony, the exhibit will remain free to the public until March 1, 2024.

Image by Tess Rempel

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