By Chris Allison
Five Brookhaven College art students received awards at the 2013 League for Innovation Exhibition and Competition on Feb. 7. The competition, held annually at Mountain View College, features 10 entries from the seven colleges in the Dallas County Community College District.
This year’s juror, Benito Huerta, gallery director and professor of painting at the University of Texas at Arlington, selected five entries from 70 to proceed to the national competition.
Of the five Brookhaven students awarded, Hong Hee Kwon was selected as one of five finalists to continue to the national phase of competition.
Albertina Cisneros’ submitted photograph titled “Churros con chocolate” was purchased for display in the Mountain View permanent art collection. Allison Arnold, Tori Baker and Jim Tompkins were recognized with honorable mentions.
Visual art faculty and staff choose entries from the Fall Student Exhibition for the competition in early December. David Newman, visual arts coordinator at Brookhaven, said, “We try to be representative of the whole department.” Newman also pointed out how helpful those meetings can be for the faculty in allowing them to have an overview of the visual arts program outside of their particular discipline.
The national level of the competition involves 19 community college districts throughout the country and will take place in the fall. The juror, often a prestigious artist, selects winners from images of the works, since the national exhibition exists only as a catalogued, virtual competition.
The exhibitions and competitions held throughout the year benefit students by preparing them for a career in visual arts. Newman said the critique process mirrors the real world as closely as possible and involves an external review of the students’ work. Brookhaven students frequently place highly in these competitions, demonstrating the quality of the visual arts program.
Honorable mention recipient and Brookhaven student Jim Tompkins attributed some of his success to his art professors. “When it comes to making a piece, for me, it’s more about getting it done,” he said. “What the instructors have helped me refine is the attention to detail and the craftsmanship. I continue to struggle with it, but my awareness of it I attribute to them.”
Despite his artistic talent and years of training, Tompkins said he sometimes needs a helping hand with his work. “My idea was refined through sketching and my discussions with Natalie Macellaio and Nick Hutchings,” Tompkins said. “I would not have been able to construct this piece so meticulously without their assistance. The construction was challenging.”
Tompkins echoed Newman’s comments about the various exhibitions and competitions preparing students for a career in visual arts. “They have also helped me understand how best to present my work, which is important if you want to sell your work,” he said.
The School of the Arts will also host the Spring Juried Art Student Exhibition from April 23 to May 3 in the Forum Gallery and Studio Gallery. For more information, readers can contact the School of the Arts office at 972-860-4385 or visit www. brookhavencollege.edu/instruction/bcsa for event schedules in both galleries.