NICEVILLE, Fla. — The winners of the annual Arnie Hart Juried Student Art Exhibition at Northwest Florida State College were recently announced. The student art exhibition, as well as the annual NWFSC Faculty Exhibition, is currently on display through May 7, 2021, at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Galleries.
Arnie Hart Juried Student Exhibition Winners for 2021 include:
Best in Show: Mercedes Damon, Organized Chaos
2D 1st: Matthew Nguyen, Abandoned
2D 2nd: Katie Strom, Caveman: A Tactile Self Portrait
2D 3rd: Tetyana Watson, Still-life with Wine
3D 1st: Josie Wenner, First Angel
3D 2nd: Jin Ju Salazar, Happy Elephant
3D 3rd: Yvonne Cabrera, Lady in Silver
First place winner in the 2D category, Matthew Nguyen said he was inspired for his photograph Abandoned, by a trip to an abandoned middle school near DeFuniak Springs. Nguyen aspires to become a traveling photographer and make a name for himself in that field.
“I didn’t really have words to express my feelings, I was just shocked,” Nguyen said, when asked his reaction to his first-place award.
“When I found out I got first place I was speechless honestly.”
NWFSC Art Instructor Leigh Peacock Westman said that she is inspired by the dedication of the students who participated in the art show this year.
“I’m really proud of the students and am especially impressed by how they are striving through difficult times with the pandemic,” she said.
“Just learning how to take classes either all online or a hybrid version, everyone is on a learning curve of how to balance life like that. Seeing all the work here has been pretty inspiring.”
Jean Hart, wife of the late NWFSC art instructor Arnie Hart, provides an annual gift to help fund the Arnie Hart Juried Student Exhibition. Hart, popular and influential for his “cracked pottery” style, taught at Okaloosa-Walton College from 1966 until his untimely death in 1999. His wife Jean and several friends established the Arnie Hart Art Scholarship Endowment in his memory to honor his longtime devotion to his students.
Each year, submitted student artwork is juried by an art professional and selected for exhibit in the McIlroy Gallery. This year’s juror was James Rhea, Fine Arts Professor at Pensacola State College.
Student works in a variety of two- and three-dimensional media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography and ceramics, comprise the exhibition. Artwork produced by faculty is on display in the Holzhauer Gallery.
The Arnie Hart and Faculty Exhibitions will be open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and 90 minutes prior to most Mattie Kelly Arts Center performances.