Winning art to "enrich" library experience for students

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Filed under Library News:  Events Innis Mills Learning Commons
The above painting by Kristina Durka, Riley Vanderzee, Tess Visser and Maria Simmons was the winner of the Innis Library Art Competition, one of two art student competitions recently hosted by the McMaster University Library.

The above painting by Kristina Durka, Riley Vanderzee, Tess Visser and Maria Simmons was the winner of the Innis Library Art Competition, one of two art student competitions recently hosted by the McMaster University Library.

It's an art student's dream to have their work displayed and recognized. This dream became a reality for five Studio Art students, the winners of two recent art competitions hosted by the McMaster University Library.

Open to students enrolled in ART 3D03 – Practical Issues, and organized in partnership with McMaster’s School of the Arts, the competitions provided an opportunity for students to apply what they’ve learned and for the winners to have their work displayed in Mills and Innis libraries.

The Mills Learning Commons competition was funded by the MSU through the Student Life Enhancement Fund, part of a number of improvements to the Learning Commons funded by grant. The Innis Library competition was held in celebration of its 40th anniversary and was funded by McMaster University Library. The prize for each competition was $1000.

Judy Major-Girardin, Associate Professor of Art and the coordinator of the competitions says this kind of practical experience is valuable for students.

“The library art competitions provides an opportunity for students to prepare a professional proposal that includes a cover letter, artist statement, concept statement, C.V., bio, visuals and creative packaging,” says Major-Girardin. “This learning activity is transferable to many situations and employment opportunities in the arts.”

The winner of the Mills Library Commons competition was Stephanie Grant. The winners of the Innis Library competition were Kristina Durka, Riley Vanderzee, Tess Visser and Maria Simmons who submitted a joint proposal in keeping with the competition’s theme of collaboration.

“Our piece portrays the theme through the imagery and through the way in which it was constructed,” says Durka. “The theme of the piece is the union of the areas surrounding McMaster University and features Downtown Hamilton, Westdale, and Cootes Paradise through an abstracted landscape.”

A number of student art pieces are featured throughout McMaster’s libraries, including works from previous art competitions, self-portraits in the staircase of Mills Library and pieces displayed in the Lyons New Media Centre.

“The studio art program is grateful for the ongoing support of the library,” says Major-Girardin. “We hope that the art collection accumulating there will enrich the library experience for students, staff and faculty at McMaster for many years to come.”

View all the student artwork on display in McMaster University Library: