Art contest voting opens Wednesday

SEB encourages students to experience gallery, vote on scholarship winners, try free catered food in CUB



Student Gabby Oliva paints at the SEB Arts Hour event Jan. 19, 2017. Arts coordinator Devin Mendenhall said SEB will host more arts events.

SARINA SHARPE, reporter and columnist

WSU’s Student Entertainment Board will exhibit art by finalists of the Beauty in Strange Places competition Wednesday from 12-8 p.m. in the CUB Junior Ballroom.

Artists had until Jan. 18 to enter their artwork into the competition. SEB members then selected finalists. WSU Arts Coordinator Devin Mendenhall helped SEB Arts Chair Tmnit Tewolde put together the competition.

“We highlight sports a lot, and we highlight music a lot on this campus,” Mendenhall said. “We just really wanted to do an event that recognized student art here at WSU.”

This competition is a good way to showcase students who are not a fine arts major, Tewolde said. All it takes is passion.

With this event, Tewolde said her goal was to recognize students who weren’t necessarily art majors or minors in a way that their work would be seen by a wider audience.

“I feel like it’s kind of hard for students to express themselves,” Tewolde said. “Yeah, there’s social media and stuff, but if they’re brave enough to put their art out into the world and for their peers to see, they should be applauded for that.”

Tewolde received about 50 submissions, Mendenhall said. She had a ranking system applied to all 50.

Many students submitted paintings or digital art, but they opened the contest up to music and videos, Tewolde said.

“Since the prize is scholarship money, I just found it would be a good opportunity for students to earn some extra cash,” Tewolde said.

Tewolde said the theme, Beauty in Strange Places, is something all students could apply their skills to, without limitations.

“I had a bunch of themes,” Tewolde said, “and I ran them through my committee, and they were all pretty basic ones like power and loss. But Beauty in Strange Places is something that can be interpreted in different ways.”

Committee members will contact finalists about who won scholarship money on Feb. 15. In the meantime, students who attend the showing will be able to vote for a winner, according to the Facebook page.

“[Tewolde] wants everything to be interactive and students to be able to take part in it,” Mendenhall said. “So we’re thinking of the art competition and she’s like, ‘Oh, how can I make it so students are more involved, other than just showing up and looking at something?’”

Mendenhall said there could be another event like this in the future hosted in the gallery on the first floor of the CUB. He said that anyone who was too anxious to put their art out there shouldn’t be afraid to give themselves a push.

“We’re usually the worst critics of ourselves,” Mendenhall. “If you’re apprehensive, I feel like there’s something you can do out there, and it’s just a learning experience.”