Sarah Engebrecht won Ouachita Baptist University’s Juried Student Exhibit, sponsored by Ouachita’s Art Club. Zhanxiu Lu placed second, and Carrie Hill placed third.
Engebrecht, a senior graphic design major from Morrilton, Ark., won with Nostalgia in Blue, a drawing completed with a blue Bic ballpoint pen. Engebrecht’s drawing celebrates her early childhood doodles also done with ballpoint pens.
“As a kid, I couldn’t pay attention to the long sermons in church, so instead of tuning them out or squirming in my seat, I would doodle all over the program,” Engebrecht explained. “Since I never brought something to write with, I would just use my mom’s pen. As the years went on, I kept using the pen to doodle. I even started using it at home and wherever because I loved how clean it was and how it lasted longer than pencil.”
Nostalgia in Blue is a detailed drawing of flowers and insects and reflects on the time Engebrecht spent outside as a child.
“I love plants and insects, so I decided to draw some from my childhood as a tribute to God for letting me interact with so much of His wonderful creation,” Engebrecht added. “That’s where the title comes from. This piece is very nostalgic to me, and every time I look at it I can reflect on my amazing memories.”
Matthew Smith, assistant professor of art at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, served as the guest judge for the competition. He displayed an exhibit, “Sources of Evangelical Spirituality,” earlier in the semester. Students from all majors were invited to submit their works of art for judging.
“Sarah Engebracht’s blue ink pen drawing (no pencil) is the best work of art in the show because it communicates the guileless joy of drawing things the artist is interested in,” Smith said in his critique. “Drawing is used here to inquire into a subject the artist cares about. Simple tools – blue ink pen – are clearly sufficient to accomplish this task. The composition, likewise, is simple, almost naive, and without unnecessary complexity.”
Lu, a senior studio art and music major from Shaoxing, China, won second place with a piece titled Dream, a digital work drawn on an iPad using the app ProCreate.
“Chinese traditional culture is strongly cultivated in this piece,” Lu said. “For techniques, I studied Chinese traditional ink paintings and transformed what I learned into the contemporary digital painting. For the image, all these subjects have a sort of ancient Chinese look, and the story behind it is also inspired by some ancient Chinese fairy tales.”
“The iPad drawing employs a simple digital tool to successfully achieve varying line weights, accent colors, gradients, washes and transparencies,” Smith said in his critique. “It is easy to imagine this artist extending work like this to illustrate similar ideas or to visually narrate original stories and ideas.”
Lu’s We Don’t Talk Anymore was also selected as an honorable mention. Another of her works, Hope, also was chosen for inclusion in the exhibit.
Hill, a senior graphic design major from Benton, Ark., won third place with her piece, Lost at Sea, a subtractive monoprint created by wiping inks off of a printing plate.
“Originally, I wanted to create a dark and scary image depicting tentacles coming out of the water,” Hill explained. “However, there wasn’t much of a story to it; it was just a bunch of tentacles, and that’s it. Instead, I decided to depict a cute octopus talking to a bird. I don’t know exactly what they’re talking about, but the mystery creates a far more interesting scene.”
“The monoprint is effectively executed with a range of grays, blacks and prominent highlights, and the draftsmanship is more than sufficient to depict characters, personalities and even an allusion to the tension of a plot line,” Smith noted. “It is easy to imagine this artist extending work like this into a series of frames – illustrating an existing story, or telling a new one.”
Hill’s pieces Meeting and Bendingeidfrin Attacks Ireland were also selected as honorable mentions. Another of her works, The Room’s Aftermath, also was selected for inclusion in the exhibit.
Honorable mention awards also were given to Lexie Hoggard, a junior graphic design and mass communications double major from Roland, Ark., for Screwtape Cover, and Bethany Lagen, a junior graphic design major from Cordova, Tenn., for Movin’ On. Lagen’s pieces Didot and The Rose also were selected for the exhibit.
Other students whose work was selected to be included in the exhibit are:
The Juried Student Exhibit is sponsored by Ouachita’s Art Club and will be on display April 12-Sept. 29. The exhibit will be located in Ouachita’s Hammons Art Gallery in McBeth Fine Arts Center, and admission is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
For more information, contact Summer Bruch, associate professor of visual arts, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-4655.
By Katie Smith // Image above: Sarah Engebrecht’s winning piece, Nostalgia in Blue.
April 25, 2018