On Friday February 1, the entryway to the ArtsWorcester gallery was crowded with families, Clark students, and other members of the Worcester community. All of them had one thing in common: a love of art and an interest in the work of young artists.
The exhibit itself took up both the upper and lower floors of the gallery, and from 6-9pm the building was crowded with people making their way through the thoughtfully arranged pieces; pausing for refreshments provided by Cafe Reyes, located on Shrewsbury Street, and to enjoying music performed by the Clark Bars and the WPI Jazz Group.
Visitors were provided with a multimedia experience: with art ranging from photographs and paintings, to watercolors, embroidery, and even a short music video. By 6:30 pm, there were pieces that had already been marked with the small red dots signifying a sale. For some artists, this was especially exciting because it was their first time selling their art.
This year marks the fifteenth chapter of the Annual College Art Show, which is an exhibit organized by ArtsWorcester located at 660 Main Street. This year ArtsWorcester received over 240 submissions and accepted 80 pieces, specially selected by Sam Toabe, gallery curator and professor at University of Massachusetts Boston.
This year was especially dominated by Clark students, with 22 out of the 80 accepted submissions being from Clark. Four of the seven prize winners were also from Clark, Tayla Cormier (Clark University ’20), Amy Kaufman (Clark University ’19), Sam Mescon (Clark University ’21) and Alyssa Pelletier (Clark University ’19), who all won the juror’s prizes and a one hundred dollar check.
The college show is a lucrative opportunity not only for students to get a chance to exhibit their work in a professional gallery setting and sell pieces, but also for the general public. The goal of all colleges is to establish a connection in their home city, and art is just one of the ways that Clark aims to do this. ArtsWorcester does an incredible job of helping build this connection and introducing upcoming college artists into the community.
Frank Armstrong, one of the three photography professors at Clark, emphasized the importance of this kind of connection, he says he’s been told how exciting it was to see people pausing and pointing and talking about their work, and how thrilled they were if someone bought the work. “This is a great affirmation and stimulator for students to continue in their chosen medium. It’s a jumping off place for many,” Armstrong said.
The Fifteenth Annual College Show is going on until February 23 and is well worth the visit.