In the early days of quarantine, the UNLV department of art created a call to share works of art in response to our current “6 feet apart” reality. The department divided the call into four challenges. Each challenge encouraged participants to flex the skills of critically responding to familiar or unfamiliar works of art. The department received more than 100 entries from 77 individuals. The entries were thoughtful, perceptive, sometimes humorous, poignant, and all smartly aware of our place and time amidst the pandemic. Much of the work speaks to our current conditions and what we are going through together. Not only art and design students participated. Entries came from alumni, community members, and students studying in fields including anthropology, civil and environmental engineering, film, computer science, education, history, journalism, kinesiology, psychology, and theatre.
Congratulations to the artists and designers included in the curated online exhibition that is part of the UNLV Donna Beam Gallery program. Among the participants are UNLV students who are having their first exhibit ever!
Thank you for considering the work of these 30 artists and designers: James Bui ('20 BA Psychology), Vivienne Bustillos ('20 BA Theatre), Fawn Chandler ('20 BSBA - Marketing), MFA art student Cida de Aragon, Caitlin DeCuir ('20 BS Graphic Design & Media), freshman graphic design & media student Iris Aileen Fernandez Mendez, sophomore graphic design & media student Katrina Fontanilla, senior art student Samantha Ganados, sophomore art student Breanna C. Hansen, Q’shaundra James ('17 BFA Art, BA English), sophomore art student Faith Majella Jenkins, Melanie LaMay of the College of Southern Nevada, sophomore art student Grace Letourneau, senior art student Annie Lin, junior art student Josett Manotham-Garin, senior art student Brian Martinez, junior secondary education student Diego Martinez, Peter Mengert ('20 MFA Art), senior art student Samantha Meyers, Van Nguyen ('20 BS Graphic Design & Media), Melissa Pepe ('20 Graphic Design & Media), doctoral history student Doris Morgan Rueda, sophomore graphic design & media student Lesley Salas, senior film student Emani Salih, senior art student Daisy Sanchez, Briana Tippetts ('16 BA Art), freshman art student Geovany Uranda, master's art student Shelby Westika, community member Jennifer Woodruff, and Shahab Zargari, communications coordinator for the College of Fine Arts.
In addition, the department of art would like to recognize the following award-winners:
- Cida de Aragon and Samantha Meyers received the award for Juror’s Choice.
- Samantha Ganados and Daisy Sanchez received the Challenge Certificate for works responding to the life or work of other artists.
- Katrina Fontanilla received the Challenge Certificate for excellent participation in the 10-day daily challenge posted on the UNLV department of art Instagram @unlvtheear.
- Shahab Zargari was awarded the Challenge Certificate for reinterpreting works of art or design.
- Iris Fernandez Mendez and Doris Morgan Rueda were awarded the Challenge Certificate for Free Choice.
In trying times, art plays an important role. Even when the world shifts and changes in cataclysmic ways, art can be a reliable compass, helping us imagine new possibilities. Sometimes artists challenge prevailing ideas, express the most magnificent human aspirations, model roads forward, or define further fights ahead.
The gallery program run by Jerry Schefcik as a part of the department of art regularly mounts more than 30 exhibitions annually, including significant exhibits for undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, faculty, and the community. The department of art is a department like no other. Our faculty, students, and alumni are incredible. Our students find that they develop meaningful professional relationships with faculty and peers at UNLV. We are especially proud that our programming presents and exhibits extraordinary perspectives from traditionally underrepresented communities in art and design.
There are always surprises in the department. To stay up-to-date, please follow UNLVArtDept on Facebook, the Donna Beam Gallery on Facebook, and @unlvtheear on Instagram. Also, please sign up for the UNLV department of art mailing list. You can donate online to the department of art. (Enter the amount you’d like to give, and under “Designation,” choose “Art.”)
For further information about any of these projects, contact Marcus Civin, professor and chair, department of art.