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Portland Press Herald praises USM’s 'powerful' student art exhibition

Student Juried Exhibition awards

Portland Press Herald arts critic Daniel Kany praised the 'powerful' art work selected for USM’s annual Juried Student Exhibition, which was on display at the USM Art Gallery on the Gorham campus from March 28 to April 2. Selected works are currently on display through May 1 at the AREA Gallery in the Woodbury Campus Center in Portland.

“It’s apparent that the (art) program and the students are thriving,” wrote Kany, an art historian who served as a juror in the 2014 exhibition. This year’s jurors were George Longfish, nationally-recognized painter and Native American elder; Clint Fulkerson, a young, up and coming artist who creates drawings and public art based on organic forms and processes; and Jocelyn Lee, photographer and founder of the new Portland artist-run space, Speedwell Projects.

The exhibition considers works from students of all academic disciplines, but only jury-selected pieces were displayed in the show. This year's juror awards went to Samuel Goldberg for "Winter, 2017," Melissa Bardsley for "The Drip" and Kayla Frost for "Self Portrait" (pictured left). This year's honorable mentions went to Julian Moron for "C74" and "D16," Liza Stratton for "Nude" and Melissa Bardsley for "The Chain."

"The best effect of the student show is the range of successful works," Kany wrote. "Juried shows are tough, particularly when they are juried via image. But they reward with the possibility of new discovery."

Each year, local businesses and USM alumni donate cash prizes for the juror awards and gift certificates for the honorable mentions. This year’s cash sponsors were Gorham House of Pizza and Home Instead, along with USM alumni Becky McKinnell ‘06 of iBec Creative; Bruce Roullard ‘84, branch manager of Embrace Home Loans in Portland; and Sharmon Toner ‘13. Additionally, Ace Hardware, Casco Bay Frames, Hunt’s Photo and Video, Artist and Craftsman, and Photo Market donated gift certificates.

"The Juried Student Exhibition is an important event open to all students at USM," Carolyn Eyler, Director of Exhibitions and Programs, said. “This is an opportunity for them to have art reviewed by recognized professionals in the field, prepare selected work for professional display and be congratulated in an opening reception and award ceremony.”

For more information on USM Art Department and Gallery 2017 exhibits and events, visit:

To read Kany's full review in the Portland Press Herald, click here.