When deciding whether to enter their work in an exhibit, student artists must consider more than just the outcome. They must consider the time it takes to make the art, the exposure and any possible incentives.
UNC has several groups that give students a chance to display their art — if a student’s hectic lifestyle doesn’t get in the way first.
Senior art major Katie Frohbose was required to participate in a exhibit for her study abroad program but has not submitted otherwise because of the energy required.
“To get your work together, to write about it and get it in a presentable manner, it takes a little bit of time unless you already have a body of work produced,” she said.
In contrast, freshman art major Greg Halloran has participated in two art shows and plans to do so in the future.
“I like interacting with people and not just having art somewhere but a show where I can talk to people looking at my art,” he said. “I want people to see my artwork if I spent so long doing it.”
The Undergraduate Art Association puts on several art shows each year and is teaming up with Psi Chi, the undergraduate international honor society for psychology for an upcoming exhibit, “Psychology of Art.”
UAA president Richie Transou said he has already received word from several interested students who “seemed less worried about being paid and more worried about whether they had anything worth submitting.”
But students also have the opportunity to sell their works through commercial galleries like the student-run gallery The Artery.
Artery director Juliet Sperling said the gallery received so many submissions they could not hang all of the pieces in the first show.
“For a lot of these student artists, they don’t have that many outlets to display student work, especially not to sell student work,” she said.
Sperling said that the gallery also creates a link between student artists and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community.
From a professional point of view, displaying your work is important for exposure and recognition, said Robert Kintz, the Student Services Specialist of the art department.
“Anytime you get the opportunity to display your work – why wouldn’t you want to put your work out there?” he said.
Though prize money and possible sales are additional incentives for participating in shows, its not the only consideration.
The director of undergraduate art studies, Jeff Whetstone, said selling art is only “one component of the business of art” — and artists don’t have to participate in this aspect.
“Art does not happen in a vacuum,” he said. “It happens in the context of a community. An artist needs an audience. The audience is why we create art. We need feedback.”
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