UD Honors Program awards student artists

By: Katie Christoff – Asst. A&E Editor

The 14th annual Honors Art Exhibit held an open house in Alumni Hall last week, displaying 21 winning pieces of artwork made by 16 students. The winning pieces will remain on display until November.

“This is an extraordinary event because students from all different majors participate,” said David Darrow, director of the Honors Program during the open house.

All students in the Honors program were encouraged to submit artwork, no matter their major. A total of 53 pieces were submitted this year, including ceramics, paintings, photography, mixed media and even card stock, according to Jill Talley, who works for the Honors Program.

Roger Crum assists with the juror selection for the exhibit each year, Talley said. This year’s judge was Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, Ph.D, curator of Collections and Exhibitions at The Dayton Art Institute. During the open house reception, she thanked all of the students for allowing her to view their art.

“It’s great to see so much talent in one small university,” Marcereau DeGalan said.

Of the 53 submitted pieces, she chose the work of students Gabrielle Boltz, Forrest Broussard, Morgan Carrier, Ashlyn Fridrich, Kara Hoersten, Miranda Melone, Kaitlin Meme, Kelsey Mills, Mary Mykytka, Kevin Obergefell, Abigail Oravec,
Lydia Pawley, Grace Poppe, Victoria Pryzdia, Christopher Santucci and Ann Zerfas.

These winners were given the opportunity to introduce themselves and speak briefly about their pieces during the open house with friends, family and fellow members of the Honors Program present.

Students also have the option to sell their pieces from the exhibit and set a price they believe each deserves.

Marcereau DeGalan said she faced a hard decision while judging the entries, but chose the winning pieces based on the cohesion they created together. Of the 21 chosen pieces, freshman mechanical engineering major Ashlyn Fridrich was named “Best in Show” for her piece, “Spiral Orb.”

“Spiral Orb” is a photograph of a paperweight sitting on a piano. Fridrich said she was intrigued by the unique design of the spirals inside the paperweight and thought it would be a good object to work with.

“I felt very humbled that my piece had been selected by the judge as ‘Best in Show.’ It was a great moment and I’m thankful for that,” Fridrich said. “All of the works in the show were absolutely amazing.”

Fridrich said she believes that this exhibit is a great opportunity for honors students because it reveals their hidden talents and creativity, especially since art is just a hobby for many of these students with vastly different majors.

As it turns out, the winning piece was even more meaningful than Fridrich or the judging panel initially realized.

“After the awards presentation when I called my mom to tell her the good news, I found out the paperweight had belonged to my grandmother and that made it all the more special because I was glad to be honoring her in some way and I know she is looking down from heaven smiling,” Fridrich said.

Students can see “Spiral Orb,” along with the other 20 winning pieces, on display in Alumni Hall Suite 125 until November.