By Mallory Morris
October 6, 2020
ARKADELPHIA, Ark.—At the start of September, Ouachita Baptist University’s Rosemary Adams Department of Visual Arts announced Sollie Jones, a 2020 communications & media/film studies graduate from Livingston, Texas, as the winner of its annual Student Juried Art Show. The exhibit featured an array of art pieces created by students across campus.
Jones received first place for her charcoal sketch “Comfy Travels;” Dr. Jennifer Fayard, associate professor of psychology, received second place for her ceramic piece “Recovery;” and Sabaoot Esho, a sophomore graphic design major from Erbil, Iraq, received third place for her colored pencil drawing “Lenses.”
“The annual Student Juried Art Show is one of my favorite exhibits on campus each year, mainly because students from all over campus have the opportunity to pursue and showcase their creative interests and talents,” said René Zimny, assistant professor of visual arts. “I’m also proud of the Art Club leadership for hosting this event, and several others on campus each year, and bringing art and design to our broader campus.”
While the Student Juried Art Show is typically held in the spring, the annual event was postponed this year when Ouachita students were sent home in March due to COVID-19. Each year, students of all majors are invited to submit their original artwork – including design, photography, mixed media pieces and more – for review.
The winning piece, “Comfy Travels,” is a reductive charcoal sketch of a pillow tied with ropes and a teddy bear. Jones said she drew the picture during a time of healing in her life, which was significant “not in the finished product of the work, but the journey,” she said.
“It is impossible not to reflect a part of yourself in art,” Jones said. “So, just as my pillows bounce shadows from light, my college experience bounces both sorrows and joys into every smudge of charcoal.
“Ouachita will always be my home,” she continued. “I have only been gone a few months, and my heart already misses the professors and fellow tigers. Being a tiger is a lesson in its own.”
Dr. Fayard’s piece “Recovery,” which represents various aspects of her personal recovery from an autoimmune thyroid disease, is an exposed-coil built earthenware teapot depicting a brain “once dying, but transitioning to vibrant and growing, being stitched back together with yarn and needle,” Fayard said.
As a current Ouachita faculty member and returning art student, Dr. Fayard said her piece is “very personal, and to see something beautiful come out of what was a dark time in my life is very meaningful to me.”
“I originally started college as an art major but switched to psychology my freshman year,” Dr. Fayard said. “When I started taking courses in the art department at Ouachita last year, I sort of felt that my life came full-circle again, and having pieces selected for this show makes me feel like I can be a legitimate inhabitant of both the art and science worlds.”
“Lenses,” the third-place-winning piece by Esho, is a series of four drawings in different colored pencils.
“In each drawing, you see a portrait of what appears to be a female,” Esho said. “Its aim is to depict different ways we could view people based on our lenses.”
“Despite the strange circumstances of COVID-19, we have received an overwhelmingly positive response to the show,” said Jenna Whitlow, a senior studio art and history double major from Fort Smith, Ark., and president of the Art Club. “The work is truly amazing, and students who have talked to me about it seemed to really connect with it.
“I, as an art major, spend a lot of time with my peers and talking about their work,” she added. “It’s refreshing to get the opportunity as the Juried Show Chair to interact with artists all over campus who aren’t art majors.”