Mask 4

The Detroit Artists Market opened their Annual Scholarship Awards and Exhibition with pieces from twelve Wayne State students March 4.

The Detroit Artists Market scholarship committee chose the student finalists of the John F. Korachis Scholarship Awards through a selection process that began with an open invitation to WSU art students and concluded with individual studio visits and interviews with the scholarship finalists, according to the Detroit Artists Market press release.

Korachis, chairman of the Scholarship and Exhibition Committee, said the Detroit Artists Market scholarship and exhibition brings together many generations of fine artists, all of whom have been affiliated with WSU. He said this allows the community to discover the diverse creativity of the scholarship finalists.

The scholarship finalists are Rachelle Baker, Allan Bennetts II, Dominique Chastenet de Gery, Darice Cobb, Robbie Aaron Collis, Ian Decker, Alion Dervishi, Sunshine Durant, Lea Faoro, Judith Feist, Horea Georgescu and Audrey Zofchak.

Senior fine arts major Lea Faoro said she is honored and exited to be able to show her work alongside some of the best artists at WSU in the exhibition.

“I’ve been so inspired by Detroit since moving here, (and) I’ve noticed Detroit is constantly trying to be branded by something — like hyperpigmented photos of the main attractions of the city,” she said. “I wanted to create something that better captures the feeling you get when you’re here. The drawings are documentations of the current condition of the city, which evokes this romantic yet despair filled feeling.”

Faoro said the subjects depicted in her drawings are scenes that she sees regularly. She snaps a photo whenever she sees something that reminds her of or feels like Detroit. Then she makes a thumbnail sketch where she took the photo and returns home to finish the drawing.

Senior film major Alion Dervishi said she never thought she would get in and was surprised when she was selected as one of the finalists. Dervishi’s piece is called “Algorithmic Abstraction: Phase One.”

She said, “It’s a cross, but there is zero religious connection with the piece.”

Junior fine arts major Rachelle Baker said her professor made it mandatory that students apply for Detroit Artists Market scholarship and exhibition and that she never entered her work into anything like this before.

“I'm really excited to be featured alongside so many talented Wayne Sate artists and alumni,” she said. “I was pretty shocked that I was chosen out of so many. Five of my pieces were chosen, and they are mostly using different technique.”

Baker described her pieces. One is an ink and marker illustration of the Egyptian Goddess, Bastet, another is a screen print of a nature maiden in a sea of water and leaf textures  Her other three pieces were  self portraits: one of which is a linocut and the others were made using a photo intaglio process.

Senior fine arts major Allan Bennetts II said the exhibition provided a valuable experience for emerging artists by helping familiarize students with the process of applying for art shows. His four pieces in the exhibition are an oil painting on a stretched linen canvas, two portraits from life and a still life painting from direct observation.

He said, “I wanted the viewer to feel a connection with the portraits, to feel sympathetic toward the subjects.” 

Senior fine arts major Robbie Collis said entering into the exhibition felt like a right of passage. Collis has three oil paintings in the show and one watercolor.

“The overall theme of the paintings are based on memories, time and how fragmented and ambiguous the stories can become,” he said. “I like to infuse color and light into my paintings to provide a moody atmosphere and invoke feelings that memories may have. Each painting has many overlapping layers, sometimes pixelated, implying how our memories are ambiguous and distorted.”

Junior Darice Cobb said showing his work in a gallery has always been a goal of his. Cobb has five photographs in the show.

“I work mainly with abstract, nature and architectural photography and each of my photos display this in one form or another,” he said.

Sunshine Durant, a first-year fine arts graduate student, said the Detroit Artist Market is a staple of the art scene, and she is honored to be in such a prestigious scholarship show and gallery. Durant has five pieces featured in the show.

“This series of work is focused on the duality of the ever changing environment and plight of poverty on the women and child who live here in Detroit,” she said.

The gallery is open from 11a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays until April 9. The art pieces are available for purchase.

Contact reporter Jordan Works: Follow her on Twitter: @jordan_works

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