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Ohio State students to portray ‘Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness’ through art exhibit

Courtesy of Michelle Vieira

For 11 weeks, the OSU Urban Arts Space will be home to the artwork of 11 students ­- but the contributors aren’t limited to just art students.
The annual Arts Scholars Juried Exhibition, which opens Saturday, features entries from Ohio State students from different majors and years of study.
The theme for this year’s show is “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” in honor of the Olympics, the Columbus bicentennial and the presidential election, said Tim Valentine, the Arts Scholars program manager.
“The greatest part about the program is that (students who submit work) don’t have to be an art major to be able to participate,” he said. “It’s just really cool to see a program that celebrates artists regardless of their major.”
Artists who submitted work for this year’s exhibition presented their proposals to a small committee that reviewed the works for theme consistency. Once the show opens, Valentine said a panel of five faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences will choose the winners.
“There’s a Best in Show that wins a $1,000 scholarship from the college, then one or two other people that win $500 scholarships from the college for being honorable mentions,” Valentine said.
Last year’s Best in Show scholarship winner, Michelle Vieira, a second-year in art, is this year’s student chairwoman for the exhibition.
“I work on setting up the exhibition and the space and work with the jurors to determine who gets first place and the scholarships,” Vieira said.
Vieira is not only curating the event, but also will have a piece in the show.
“Being the student leader for this is awesome because I get to see the other side,” Vieira said. “It’s been really cool to come up with the idea and work with the artists, doing logistical management and to see how it all works.”
Participating in the Arts Scholars Exhibition provides the student artists with an opportunity for both exposure and experience, Valentine said.
“The benefit for all the students is to learn about the process of proposing a piece, creating it, installing it, hanging it and pricing it,” he said.
Grace Bowen, a second-year in industrial design, is one of the several participants who are not art majors.
“Not being an art major, I wouldn’t have a lot of other opportunities to put a piece in a gallery,” Bowen said. “It’s really cool to be a part of the art community and have support from my friends.”
After seeing the exhibit last year, Bowen said she is excited to participate and be a part of it this year.
“I’m really excited for my peers to see my work and I’m excited to see theirs,” Bowen said.
“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” is scheduled to open Saturday and remain open at the Urban Arts Space, located at 50 W. Town St. Suite 130, until March 8. There will be an exhibition reception on Feb. 1 from 6-8 p.m., during which the scholarship winners will be announced.

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