Students vie for art scholarships

May 9, 2013 | 11 a.m.

Outside juror chooses work for Raspberry Monday art show

Culture | Patnacia Goodman for The Clarion

Students vie for art scholarships

Photo for The Clarion by Amanda Ahlm

Spring has finally arrived on Bethel’s campus and brought a new life that had been missed this long winter. Bethel artists are adding to the color and vibrancy on campus by showing their hard work in the annual Raspberry Monday art exhibit in the Johnson Gallery.

Raspberry Monday is a juried student art show hosted by the Bethel art department, allowing students the opportunitiy to showcase their work. Bethel students of any major can enter up to five of their original art pieces, not only to be put on display for the public, but also for them to be judged by a juror from the community.

“[Raspberry Monday] is one of the most popular shows of the year, and I think it’s because it’s a celebration of all the different works in the art department,” said Michelle Westmark, the director of the art gallery.

As the story goes, Raspberry Monday began after a husband and wife went out picking raspberries on a Monday in July of 1972. The couple put their harvest in the backseat of their car and headed home, but on the way, they were in an accident that sent the car into a ditch on the roadside. At first the husband thought he was covered in blood, but he and his wife quickly realized that the raspberries had slid into the front of the car, covering them with raspberry juice. After this realization, the couple thanked the Lord for protecting them and laughed the incident off.

Because of the accident, the couple inherited some money unexpectedly. They had a Bethel connection and decided to give the money as a scholarship to the art department. By the couple’s request the scholarship was called the Raspberry Monday Scholarship Award.

This year’s juror is Nate Young, who teaches at a non-profit art program in St. Paul and runs a local gallery called Bindery Projects. His background as a teacher made him approach the judging from a teaching perspective. “I don’t like to be judgmental in a way that isn’t productive,” Young said. He added that it isn’t an easy process. “The difficulty is not knowing the artist.”

At the ceremony on May 6, guests mingled with the artists whose works were on display. Faculty then announced the winners of various awards and scholarships, including the Purchase Awards, the Juror’s Choice Award and the Raspberry Monday scholarship.

The recipients of the Purchase Award were Jonathon Engelien’s “Genesis Study,” Tristan Hoppe’s “Study of Objects in Context: Subject 50369,” Eliza Jensen’s “Mis•chie•vous” and Dan Edinger’s “Growler.” These works will stay in Bethel’s permanent art collection to be displayed around campus.

The Juror’s Choice Award went to Caleb Genheimer for his interactive piece “Vandalism Juror,” which required the juror to use the can of spray paint on the walls of the exhibition.

The Raspberry Monday Scholarship is given to an artist who shows great leadership qualities in addition to their artistic abilities, in the department and in the Bethel community. This year’s recipient was senior Leah Sands.

Sands is very involved in the outside art community and, on the experience, Sands commented, “It’s just a really good time for the whole art department to come together and see what we’re all doing.”

Both Young and Westmark thought that Raspberry Monday was a great opportunity for those who entered. “It gives them a chance to be on the spot. There is some pressure involved with putting yourself out there that I think, if you’re gonna be an artist, is a part of life,” said Young.

“It’s such a brave thing for all of the students who enter. It doesn’t mean your work isn’t good if it doesn’t get in. It’s one those things that it’s important to keep trying, but I think congratulations to all of those who entered,” Westmark added.

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