(arts) student show (courtesy of the utsa department of art and art history)

A myriad of experiences await those who enter UTSA’s Art Gallery, from visual and auditory observation to cognitive and psychological awareness.

The UTSA XXX Annual Student Exhibition will be on display until April 16 on the second floor of the Arts building. Each year, the Art Gallery features recent works done by students and a jury determines award-winning pieces.

Jenna Wright was awarded first place “Best of Show” for an undergraduate student for her piece “Orange Rancher.” The 3D piece presents a model of a regular, suburban home projected from the wall. Although the house is colorless, orange paint bleeds off the house onto two more houses stacked underneath it.

Constructions were a popular method in this year’s exhibition, where first place “Best of Show” for a graduate student went to Justin Korver for his structure.

Korver’s work, “Construction II: Caution Stripes,” displays a large wooden box with pastel orange and blue stripes painted on the sides. However, the top and front are open to show pink, insulation material with a soft light glowing from within the center.

The exhibition is not only a way for art students to reveal their dexterous work to the community, but also a way for UTSA culture to be celebrated.

Many works reference pop culture in unique ways. Christina Reyes’ work “@justinbieber #Justinbieber #bieber #swag #celebrity #music #art #painting #artschool #nofilter” portrays the famous pop star in an old European military uniform circa the 1800’s. Because these types of portraits were reserved for important members of society, the juxtaposition of the traditional background and uniform with Justin Bieber’s likeness creates an interesting effect.

Another portrayal of popular culture was shown in Raul Gonzalez’ “#Blackfish,” which depicts an abstract of the killer whale. The title of the piece references the 2013 documentary about the controversial occurrences at Sea World parks.

Other works display the mixture of culture at UTSA such as Alexandra Dubois’ “San Antonio Landscape,” Andrei Renteria’s “No Que No Hay Hambruna” and Joshua Perez’ “Born Again Hooligan, Only to be King Again.”

Although visitors will be tempted to study some pieces closely, others will leave visitors shaken. Jen Sakian’s “Camp De Tiro” is a shotgun fully decorated in glitter, multi-colored beads and antlers. As the shotgun projects from the wall, visitors will feel the need to duck out of the way, adding to the experience of the art.

Sarah Fox’s “Genesis Headdress,” a giant rabbit head built with paper machê, beeswax, fur and other materials, seems menacing. However, the visual presentation is not the only enticing aspect of the work but the fact that one can smell the beeswax fumes from off the piece.

The Student Exhibition not only reveals a variety of themes in culture, human figure and individual perception, but also showcases the multitude of materials used to create art. The exhibition is a wonderful experience for all to see the promise of UTSA’s art students.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday 1-4 p.m.; and by appointment Sunday and Monday. For more information, call (210) 458-4391 or visit art.utsa.edu/galleries.

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