As the craziness of the fall semester continues, it’s impossible to attend every academic and social function one might hope. Workloads are increasing, and maintaining a balance between schoolwork and activities you enjoy might seem downright impractical. However, after having spent an evening last week in the Harnett Museum of Art, I would advise that the Annual Student Exhibition is not something students should miss, even as midterms draw nearer. Here’s why.

The creativity of the artists is evident in this small, but sufficient space located in the Modlin Center for the Arts. Current University of Richmond students enrolled in Studio Art, both majors and non-majors, contributed work to this yearly show using various artistic media such as print, collage, sculpture and photography. Each piece differs from the rest, and reflects hard work and sincere messaging.

Coordinator of Museum Visitor and Tour Services, Martha Wright, pointed out Sun and Moon by Richmond student Kelsey Jank as one of her favorite pieces in the current collection. “I’m just intrigued by the print itself,” Wright noted. “It’s a beautiful balance of reds and oranges that evokes something almost spiritual.” Lookup by Natalie Somerville is another piece that caught Wright’s eye.

As the debate over the significance of art education in schools continues throughout the United States, I for one am an advocate for observing its benefits. Not only is visiting a museum a time for self-reflection, it’s also a great time to get your innovative juices flowing. So whether it’s before, between or after classes, take a creative break and drop in to see what the exhibition has to offer for you. Your brain (and maybe your schoolwork) will thank you.

The Annual Student Exhibition will run through Sept. 27, 2015. A collection of woodblock cut prints by renowned artist Jay Bolotin will follow. Students interested in exploring what other University of Richmond Museums have on display are invited to attend a Semi Formal reception at the Lora Robins Gallery from 8-10 p.m. on Sept. 24th.

Contact Emily Ramirez at emily.ramirez@richmond.edu

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