By Jessica LaCanne
Arts and Entertainment Editor
The opening reception for the Saint Mary’s University Undergraduate Art Exhibition revealed Ashley Blum’s first place assemblage piece, titled “Honey Is the Milk of Life.”
Blum, winning $100 for first place, was not the only person to be recognized at the show. Stephanie Binot won second place and $75 for her untitled watercolor piece. Rachel Sievers won third place and $50 for her photograph titled “Autumn 360.”
Blum, a junior at SMU majoring in graphic design and studio art, said she initially was trying to make a full body cast, but it didn’t work. Blum then decided her cast, made of paper towel and wheat paste, looked more like a beehive.
According to Blum, she found through research that bees represent fertility and childbirth. The hive Blum created “looks like a womb opening up,” she said.
Students who were given honorable mention include Emily Cooper, Ben Jarret, Teresa Scanlon, and Blum. Blum’s honorable mention piece was titled “I and My Ideas,” which was also assemblage style.
The head was wax cast, Blum said. The rest of the piece was made of colored wire, a wooden plaque, canvas and a wood branch. Blum said the piece reminded her of her muse and how some ideas come out of her mind and drop off because they aren’t so great, and others flourish and grow.
This wasn’t Blum’s first time submitting work to the art show. Freshman year Blum won first place and last year received an honorable mention.
Preston Lawing, chair of the art and design department, has been involved with the art show for the last 15 years. Lawing said he has heard that the art show is one of the strongest in several years. Fourteen majors were represented this year and the exhibition shows the variety and diversity of students and their interests, said Lawing.
There were 78 pieces entered this year and none were turned away. The only reason work would be turned away is if it is inappropriate, but SMU is “really great about not censoring work,” said Lawing.
Photo by Bree Hughes