GAR Show Features Eight Kent State Undergraduates

Lily Martis

The fifth annual GAR Show will feature eight Kent State School of Art undergraduate students and display their work in the historic Andrew Jackson House in Akron, Ohio.

The GAR Show accepts two-dimensional and slight relief art submissions from juniors and seniors at the Kent State and University of Akron art schools. This year’s accepted work will be shown in the Andrew Jackson House in the GAR Foundation’s main offices on 227 E. Mill St. in Akron. The artwork will be shown from Feb. 18 through Nov. 18 with an informal opening reception for the exhibit on Feb. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission to both the reception and the exhibit is free.

Kathryn Shinko, the show’s curator, earned her B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the University of Akron in 2011 and currently is a Kent State M.F.A. student in textiles and graduate assistant to Anderson Turner, the Director of Galleries at Kent State. This being her second year curating the show, Shinko reviewed 224 artworks submitted by 53 students across the two universities. Of those, she selected 23 works by 16 students to feature in the GAR Show.

 “The ability of the artists at both schools to produce such excellent work across such artistic mediums is technically strong and conceptually original,” Shinko said.

Each of the 16 students will receive a $100 stipend per selected piece at the reception from the GAR Foundation. Students may also choose to sell their work at the GAR Show free of commission fees. The GAR Foundation will also purchase one work chosen by its staff to house in its permanent collection. This year, the GAR Foundation purchased Samantha Newman’s oil panting titled “Mugshot” for her offering price of $50. Newman is a senior fine arts major at Kent State University. “This [“Mugshot”] was one of the pieces I liked the most that I’ve done on my own,” Newman said. “It was really surprising to win ‘Best in Show.’”

Of the 16 students, eight are from the Kent State University School of Art. Josh Bentley, a junior fine arts major has three pieces in the show. “The biggest thing for me is it [the GAR Show] keeps me motivated to keep doing art,” he said. “It’s easy as an artist to have doubts about your work, so anytime you win something or get recognition, it’s good reinforcement to keep going.”

The show is sponsored by the GAR Foundation, which is one of the largest private foundations in Summit County. The mission of the Foundation is to strengthen communities in region through discerning and creative support and has a philanthropic emphasis that concentrates on five areas, one of which being the arts and arts education.

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