Juried student exhibition at the Law Warschaw Gallery


Abby Bulger, Associate Arts Editor

On April 4, the Law Warschaw Gallery opened its doors to this year’s Juried Student Exhibition hosted by Macalester’s art department. The show is an annual tradition which is unlike most of the other exhibits the gallery hosts, as it consists of only student artwork. All students who have taken a studio art class in any medium at Macalester are eligible to submit work for consideration in the show. This year, the exhibit spanns many mediums including ceramics, painting, printmaking, sculpture, digital prints and drawings.

What makes this exhibition unique is not only that the pieces are student-made, but that the installation is as well. Jehra Patrick, the director and curator for the gallery, explained that the gallery assistants act as the official curators. They have many responsibilities in putting together the show, from preparing and painting the actual walls and pedestals of the gallery, to creating the layout of the pieces and installing them, to designing maps and posters of the show. Patrick gave a shout out to Anna Devine ’24* who did all of this year’s design and social media for the exhibit. 

The only thing that students, artists and assistants did not participate in was the jurying process. The faculty of the studio arts department serves as the first round of jurors, deciding which pieces actually get included in the exhibition. 

“After faculty selections are made, the department invites a guest juror to select merit awards across seven disciplines and [a] Juror’s Choice award,” Patrick wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly.

The guest juror for this year’s exhibition is Alonzo Pantoja. Pantoja, as he states on his website, is a “queer, brown artist and educator” and is currently a professor at Augsburg University, Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the Textile Center. They earned their MFA in Fiber and Installation from Minneapolis College of Art and Design and BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During his undergraduate studies, they studied contemporary art, architecture and design in Almere, Netherlands and art history, painting and drawing at Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy.

Patrick explained that Pantoja was an “ideal set of eyes for [the] students’ work” because they are “knowledgeable about multiple disciplines and engenders the values of multiculturalism and internationalism.” 

Additionally, despite the awards that will be given and the vetting process for the pieces submitted, Patrick affirmed that “the exhibition is quite democratic and welcoming, rather than exclusionary.”

The merit awards will be announced at the Studio Art and Art History Picnic on Friday, April 22, at 4:30 p.m. after the closing of the exhibition on April 20. Anyone who has taken an art class at Macalester is welcome to attend the picnic, so if you’re curious about the winners, stop by! 

*Devine is a contributing writer at The Mac Weekly