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Watkins College of Art puts on 28th annual award show

In the midst of award season, Belmont held its own red-carpet event for the Watkins College of Art students.

“The event is a culmination of both annual student exhibition and a celebration of our scholarship award that the college offers,” Director of Galleries and Programming Katie Mitchell said.

The Watkins College of Art and the Kappa Pi student organization presented their 28th Annual Arts Award Show Thursday for various art submissions including photography and paintings.

Among many award recipients that night, Jayla Miller, winner of the Rising Sophomore award, who said winning was “very surreal.”

Her art piece “The Abyss” explored how the subconscious can interpret reality in its own way.

“During the event, it was nerve racking. At one point, I really thought the email that I got was wrong because I did not know when my name was going to be called.”

The art is judged by three outside professionals nominated by the faculty.

“Those individuals come in, review all student submissions, and then the selected works are hung in the show and specific awards are selected within that collection,” Mitchell said.

Once selected, the art was installed over spring break for public display, where it can be viewed until April 7.

This is the second year the showcase operated in this format, which was preferred by James Pierce, dean of the Watkins College of Art.

“In the past, we would celebrate the awards for the exhibition, then a couple of weeks later we would celebrate the award for the faculty,” Pierce said.

“Bringing all of it together makes it a bigger ceremony to really celebrate all of the achievements.”

Pierce said he was impressed by the quality of art.

“It’s always really rewarding to see the great work that is on display.”

Miller’s artwork was a black and white surrealist picture, which is on display in the Leu Art Gallery.

“We are all working together to make our footprint on the world, and that’s all I could ever really ask for from an art college.”

This article was written by Seth Thorpe

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