February 07, 2012

Winners named in ‘Sustain’ exhibit competition

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- It’s part art exhibit, part ecology lesson, part juried art show.

Sustain, one of several art exhibits currently open at the University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, included a competitive element.  Artists were not only demonstrating their skill at turning waste material into art, they were also competing for cash prizes for Best in Show and for first and second place.

Exhibit curator Nate Steinbrink sent out a national call for collegiate art for the exhibit.  He, and the Museum Student Group, organized the exhibit as “an exploration into the potential to re-purpose used goods into objects of artistic expression.”  Steinbrink and the student group required artists to use at least 70 percent waste material in their artistic submissions.  Not to be outdone, the group constructed exhibit display materials from recycled products.

The exhibit runs through March 9. 

The winners are:

Best in Show: Joshua Bagwell, Memphis, Tenn., “To Train a Child”

First Place: Savita Skye, San Francisco, Calif., “Ancestors Who Walk with Me”

Second Place: Noah Shenk, Muncie, Ind., “One Block of Litter.”

Recycled art pioneers John Drury and Robbie Miller, collectively known as CUD, judged the exhibit.  The two artists were on campus last summer, during which time they conducted workshops that included recycling glass into art in several different ways, including mosaics and re-shaping.

Other current exhibits at the museum include Iron: 2010, a traveling exhibit from the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tenn. (closes March 9); Patron’s Favorites: Selections from the Museum’s Collection (closes April 18); and Natural Beauty: Carbondale Park District Student Art (closes March 9).

The University Museum is part of Faner Hall on campus.  Admission is free, and donations are always accepted.