Ritter Art Gallery hosts a new selection of student artwork

The exhibition showcases 41 art pieces and will be open through April 6.


Photo courtesy of the College of Arts and Letters.

Veronica Ugarte, Contributing Writer

The university’s artists were given the chance to shine at the opening of the Annual Juried Student Exhibition Thursday. 

FAU students and their parents, friends, and colleagues joined inside and out the Ritter Art Gallery. With live music being performed by a popular FAU band called Del Penson, students danced, enjoyed good company, and admired the work of the artists.

This event was organized by FAU students, for FAU students. The head of the event, Ron Falls, stated that the goal of this event was to allow students to highlight their work in a professional setting while also gaining valuable skills as growing artists and administrators.

Students could submit up to 3 pieces of artwork in various areas. Art pieces came from students majoring in the fine arts to history majors. This year the students in the exhibition were chosen by professional curator and director of the Los Angeles art center LAXART, Hamza Walker.

Out of the 74 applicants and 250 pieces of artwork, 41 students were selected to display their artwork and only 4 students were chosen to win cash prizes in the form of a scholarship.  

Falls also thanked FAU student and lead graphic designer Leah Freeman for organizing the event. This was Freeman’s first time ever physically organizing a gallery.

Freeman’s art piece in the gallery called “Trash Can Kitty” displayed a painting of a possum, a painting of a cockroach directly beside it. This series was meant to show that these animals are “benign” and “don’t hurt anybody.” She wanted to capture “why the human [reacts] that way to the hunchback and six legs.”

Freeman is a senior at FAU and hopes to become a graphic designer in the future, working for an advertising film and able to further participate in galleries in the future.

Sharene Mullings, Jacques Dreyfuss, and Ariana Portobanco were three of the four winners. Each student had their own meaning behind their art.

Sharene Mullings stated that her sculpture called “Mountain” was “a means of me keeping in touch with my origins, because I am from Jamaica.”

FAU student Jacques Dreyfuss approached his work differently. One of his photos was labeled “Emerged in Darkness,” a black-and-white picture of an African American woman covered in white powder. The fetal position she was in was meant to portray rebirth.

A friend of Jacques, Markus Cohn, supported his friend by stating that it was his favorite piece and “you can clearly see the amount of emotion and dedication put into it.”

“I was going through a dark time in my life, and I wanted to illustrate that through photography …. She’s emerged in the past and embracing the future,” said Jacques on the woman in his picture. Being very proud of his work, Jacques said “It’s very humbling to look back at it.”

Adriana Portobanco wanted to tell a story about her travels last semester, where she was working three jobs and constantly using I-95.

“One of the things I do love about I-95 is that at the end of the day, it is the route I take home …. I wanted to show people how I felt about I-95, that night especially,” she said about the day she took the picture.  

As the event came to an end, one of the staff employees, Daisy Carter, said the best part was  “The fact that there was a lot of other students coming out to support each other.”

The exhibition will be open until April 6, and is available on Tuesdays through Fridays from 1-4 p.m. and on Saturday from 1-5 p.m.

Veronica Ugarte is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].