Student Activities Center

Current Exhibit

Art in Isolation Exhibit

February 1 - March 14, 2021
Memorial Union Art Gallery

Art in Isolation Exhibit at the MU

Uncertainty has prevailed due to COVID-19, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, a divided nation during a presidential election, the derecho in Iowa, and the rocky transition to virtual learning in college. But artists still create, and this exhibit is, in essence, a visual diary of poetry, apparel design, and visual arts that Iowa State students created during difficult times.

The show includes 39 works by 26 artists, and the pieces were chosen by a panel of jurors with expertise in three fields including writer Zara Chowdhary, designer Makaylee Gayed, and visual artist Lee Rainboth.

Award Winners:
Best of Show in Visual Art: Wyatt Bailey for Of a Different Breed 

Best of Show in Poetry: Zöe Fay-Stindt for Stop Being So Jealous of the Creatures 

Best of Show in Apparel Design: Anka Snider for Zero Waste Jacket 

Purchase Award: Abon Ajang for Let Me Breathe (Pictured)

Purchase Award: Jasmine Beul for Neon Mountains and Dusted Landscape 

Gallery hours are Monday-Friday from 10am-4pm and Sunday 1-4pm
Face coverings are required at the Memorial Union

Statements from the Jurors:
Lee Rainboth - Visual Artist

This exhibit demonstrates the resilient power that art has to get us all through difficult times. When the world seems to be falling apart around us in many ways, turning to art is a way to keep us grounded, balanced, and connected to a sense of hope. The work submitted for this exhibit demonstrates how art can heal us and remind us of the beauty that still surrounds us in the world, while also acknowledging the pain that we each have to face as we fight our way through challenging circumstances. As I imagine what it has been like for these student artists trying to adapt to new constraints on their educational pursuits, I am thankful that they have had their art to turn to in an effort to interpret and express all that they are experiencing. I feel honored to get a glimpse into their visual stories from this past year. 

In judging the works submitted, the works that received the highest scores from me were the ones that either a) brought a big smile to my face and gave me a chance to mentally escape from the current realities of the world, or b) drew me deeper into the realities of current events and made me consider them from a different perspective. So I judged them based on their ability to evoke these sorts of emotional responses in addition to overall form, composition, technical skill, and presentation. I applaud every student who submitted work for consideration and thank them for offering their creative voices to the world. 

Makaylee Gayer - Designer
Creating art in isolation is the best and worst of times for creatives in any medium. Artists of all mediums are having to be extra creative and think outside of the box to get their work out to the world. Even having times to design from a different space, without access to certain supplies, resources, and experiences that were not longer available. Personally, I design from an emotional place, conveying journeys I have been through relating to mental health or putting my personal beliefs into my design work. Having time within quarantine to myself gave me time to reflect on a deeper level, think about my design process and have more time to create. Though the pandemic has caused so many global issues, it was a time to get closer with ourselves and work on what is important to us.

To judge each piece I first took in the statement for each garment to see how it related to Art in Isolation for each Individual. The next thing I wanted to focus on what how innovative the design was. Has this design been done before, are there any unique qualities or techniques within the design, and how was the craft of the technique (Raw Edges, even hems etc)? I also focused on how it would fit and look on the body. Would the technique or fabrics chosen be flattering on the body, would the details be seen when worn. All of these 4 items would be considered for the final judging of the garments.

Zara Chowdhary - Writer
Loneliness is always fertile ground for art, but this past year has forced loneliness on so many of us in ways where we see ourselves losing control of the world as we recognized it. Control is also an important measure of craft and artistry. And so, at the intersection of this contradiction-- deep loneliness and an unrelenting desire for control-- I found myself sitting with these three poets as they mused on the state of our human lives at this moment. I was awed and uplifted by their ability to freely court loneliness through their words, even as they wielded control in their own unique, measured ways.

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