SPRINGFIELD – Artwork by two students at the University of Illinois at Springfield – Jeffrey Robinson and Matthew Schultz – has been selected for inclusion in the 2007 Annual Collegiate Artists Competition. This is the first time that UIS students have been represented in the contest, which was initiated in 2003 to recognize the role that the arts play in Illinois'’ cultural landscape.
Robinson, who will exhibit his painting "Scarabaeidae-JapSinophobia," and Schultz, who will exhibit his print "Freedom Pass," are among only 51 finalists chosen statewide. Finalists will exhibit their work from May 5 to June 21 at Oakton Community College's Koehnline Museum of Art in Des Plaines.
"Scarabaeidae-JapSinophobia" by Jeffrey Robinson
Currently a senior at UIS, Robinson is finishing a bachelor's degree in Visual Arts with an emphasis in painting. His work examines a variety of themes, including identity, communication, morality, and emotion. The meaning affixed to an object and how that meaning relates to cognition and experience is another central focus, and in that vein he often constructs assemblages that manipulate an object's significance and force viewers to question their own understanding.
Robinson has been represented in several exhibitions, including: " …But What Does It Mean?" and the ASL Juried Exhibition, both at UIS' Access Gallery; "In the Beginning …Experiments" at the RMD Gallery in Springfield; the UIS Visual Arts Student Show at the State House Inn in Springfield; and the Annual Juried Exhibition at Lincoln Land Community College. He hopes to pursue a master's degree in fine art.
"Freedom Pass" by Matthew Schultz
Schultz will graduate from UIS in May with a BA in Visual Arts. A graphic designer, he previously served as art director for Illinois Times, and, as a multimedia artist, he has also performed on more than 25 CDs. Much of his visual art deals with the use of symbols in propaganda and he regularly creates work with strong political commentary.
Schultz has been represented in a number of solo and group shows at UIS, as well as in the one-man exhibits "Look At You" at the Burkhart Gallery in Chicago and "Purveyors of Human Body Parts Since 1463" at the Oskar Friedl Gallery, also in Chicago. His group shows include the sculpture exhibitions "Serial Killers" and "Showcase," both in the Flat Iron Building in Chicago. At UIS, he has received a number of scholarships, awards, and grants including grand prize in the 2006 and 2007 Juried Student Shows.
The Collegiate Artists Competition accepts undergraduate student artwork, produced in the preceding year, in eight categories: painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, prints, fiber, ceramics/glass, and kinetic/electronic media. Competition sponsors include the Office of the Governor, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and the state's colleges and universities.
This year's judge was David Russick, gallery director and curator at the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University - Purdue University in Indianapolis. In making his selections, Russick reviewed more than 700 submissions from nearly 300 student-artists.
An awards ceremony and reception to honor finalists and winners will be held May 5 at the Koehnline Museum. Final judging and selection of winners in various categories, as well as winners of four $1,000 purchase awards, will take place before the ceremony.
For more information about the Collegiate Artists Competition, including a complete list of finalists, go to www.ibhe.org/Art/default.htm.