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Delta Sigma Awards Show hopes to embrace diverse art mediums

March 31, 2017

When the College phased out the Greek system in 2000, the Delta Sigma/Delta Upsilon co-ed fraternity—known for fostering creativity in non-formal spaces on Bowdoin’s campus­­—channelled its funds into a support network for future Bowdoin artists. The fraternity’s funds work to support the arts at Bowdoin today. Tomorrow, the 18th annual awards show and ceremony will honor the work of several student artists. As in previous years, five winners will walk away with a two hundred dollar cash prize.

Jenny Ibsen
GALLERY WALK: This year’s Delta Sigma/Delta Upsilon student art submissions hang in the Lamarche Gallery of David Saul Smith Union. The awards show, which features over 50 pieces of art, aims to recognize student creativity and develop a support community for student artists. The ceremony will take place tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.

Around 50 students each submitted at least one piece of art.

The student submissions are judged by a group of three artists—either former fraternity members or close friends of the fraternity—from the Portland and Boston areas. Judges receive no information about any art piece and judge purely based off of aesthetic and technique, allowing for a level of anonymity that can be difficult to achieve on such a small campus.

Despite the show’s acceptance of all mediums and student artists regardless of experience, the show was criticized last year for being skewed towards artists with classical training who work with more traditional mediums, according to student curator Eliza Goodpasture ’18. The five winning submissions in 2016 were all oil paintings by visual arts majors. Goodpasture indicated that in the past, judges have had a tendency to especially overlook digital media and video art, since these nontraditional forms can be harder to display and compare to other mediums.

“You know the visual arts majors, you know that they’re going to bring some impressive art in, but for me, what’s most impressive is the people that I was like ‘I had no idea you created art, this beautiful artwork,’” said  Laurel Varnell, assistant director of Student Activities.

The show has no guidelines for submission, which, according to Goodpasture, makes the Delta Show distinct from others in that it allows for a wide range of submissions.

Goodpasture noted that this year the show has received fewer oil paintings and has shifted towards a larger diversity of mediums.

“I think that big oil paintings are immediately striking, but I think this year’s work is different from that, which is really cool to see, and takes more effort sometimes to engage with.”

This year’s competition will welcome two new judges, as well as newly elected Delta Sigma/Delta Upsilon president and local photographer Steve Cicco ’74. According to Cicco, the new additions to the judicial team should add a fresh, new perspective to this year’s judging.

The reception and awards ceremony will be held tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the Lamarche Gallery of David Saul Smith Union.


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