Students compete their art in yearly exhibition


Jessica Steward

“Three,” a sculpture by Morgan Derbecker.

Nicolas Triburcio Gonzalez, Contributing Writer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.— Art can make a have indescribable feelings.

The Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts is hosting the Annual Juried Student Exhibition here at JU’s Alexander Brest Museum and Gallery.

This exhibit is all about showcasing the talented work of JU’s students. The showcase will include digital art, drawings, illustrations, film, glass art, photographs and more all done by JU’s very own students.

Jessica Steward.
Best in show piece, “Botanical Chess,” by Belle Harmeson.

The exhibit opened on Nov. 14 and will run until Dec. 10.

This year’s juror is Aaron Garvey, local curator and co-founder of the Long Roads Project, or LRJ.

Garvey founded the LRJ alongside his wife, Stevie Garvey. The LRJ is a non-profit, Jacksonville-based artist residency program dedicated to highlight and bolster emerging artists from the southeastern U.S. by building a community atmosphere through public exhibition programs.

Although there were many great pieces shown in the exhibit, only eight were given awards. This consisted of honorable mentions in 2-D, 3-D, and 4-D art, first place or best of show, second and third place, and the audience choice award.

With more than 100 people turning in votes for who would receive the audience’s choice award, opening night was a great success. People also attended the event without voting.

Frances Rodriguez was awarded the third-place medal for her sculpture, Moment I, while Morgan Derbecker’s Pray for Peace took second place.

“I was very excited to have even been considered to be in the exhibit,” said Rodriguez. “So to actually make it in the top three is an amazing feeling.”

First place and best in show was awarded to Belle Harmeson for her sculpture, Botanical Chess.

“I took inspiration from my own previous projects, my family, my friends, and my boyfriend to make each individual chess piece,” said Harmeson. “I used leaves like these on a previous piece, so I had to find a way to miniaturize them and still keep the detail for the chess pieces. My boyfriend helped me find the perfect shape for the king and queen pieces.”

Harmeson says she is thankful for the support she’s received from the program, as well as those around her. She says Brian Frus, associate professor of glass, has helped to breed a healthy atmosphere for students of JU.

“None of my work would be possible without the family atmosphere that Brian Frus has created within the program and the support of my peers,” said Harmeson.

You can still see these and the many other magnificent works of art until Dec. 10. You will also be able to purchase most of the art on display, with proceeds going back to the students by contacting gallery director, Jim Benedict.

“Of all the exhibitions that I’ve been to here, this one is my favorite,” said Harmeson. “The diversity and quality of work is spectacular.”