The Collegian
Sunday, February 25, 2024

The annual student exhibition returns after three years

<p>The Annual Student Exhibition at the Harnett Museum of Art on Sept. 21, 2022.</p>

The Annual Student Exhibition at the Harnett Museum of Art on Sept. 21, 2022.

The Annual Student Exhibition is back to mark the beginning of another academic year at the University of Richmond.

This year’s exhibition, which opened on Aug. 24, marks the first time that it is open to the general public since 2019. 

“We have several visitors that have been waiting for the museums to be opened, so that’s kind of wonderful to see,” said Richard Waller, executive director for the University Museums and coordinator for the exhibition.

The artworks were created by students enrolling in art courses during the University’s 2021-2022 academic year. Each visual arts faculty then selected the pieces from their courses to be presented in the exhibition. 

Students whose pieces got featured are not only visual and media arts practice majors and minors, but also non-art majors. Visitors can find each student’s major and the course in which their work was created on the label next to each piece. Having works from both groups helps make arts a little less intimidating and convinces students to consider majoring or minoring in arts, Waller said. 

The exhibition is also a way to acknowledge what the students are creating in their courses and to attract more students to the University Museums, he said.

Senior Lauren Medlin’s “Background,” an ink painting for her Human Figure Drawing course, is featured in the exhibition. Through a series of figure drawings, Medlin puts the highlight on people who are randomly caught in someone else’s photos.

“I’m really happy that [the artwork] got displayed in the exhibition. When [professor Erling Sjovold] told me about that, it just made my heart happy that he thought [the artwork] was worth putting on display,” Medlin said.

Junior Jenna Donaldson has artwork featured in the Student Exhibition for the second year in a row. Donaldson’s screenprint “Beyond Control,” created for her Printmaking Techniques and Concepts class, illustrates her own responses to anxiety in three stages, using three different combinations of colors, shapes, lines, and patterns.

“In doing it, I was representing my own anxiety response, but I think it’s important to have conversations about mental health and anxiety,” Donaldson said. “People shouldn’t be ashamed of their anxiety because it’s not something you can control,” she said, referring to the artwork’s title.

Donaldson is excited to have her work shared with the community, especially because of how much the piece means to her, she said.

There are about 30 artworks in the exhibition, which range from printmaking and sculpture to mixed media. To have a wide range of works on display helps students get the sense that they can take art classes in a variety of mediums, Waller said. 

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Additionally, the exhibition gives the students who are enrolled in studio classes a chance to see what they might be able to accomplish, he said.

The exhibition will be on view until Sept. 24 in the Harnett Museum of Art, according to the University Museums’ website. After that, while some works will be returned to their creators, others will be relocated. The exhibition is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday.

“We do ask to keep some works so that we can put them in offices and public spaces around campus,” Waller said. 

Contact lifestyle writer Son Tran at

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