Art was everywhere: graphic design pieces, paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures. Hundreds of works by Yale students filled the building.
The annual undergraduate student art show, which ran from Jan. 13 to Jan. 21 in Holcombe T. Green Jr. Hall, was designed to display the work of students enrolled in a fall semester art class. Organizers said the show succeeded in its primary goal of displaying the work of all the students, but some art majors said the sheer quantity of the displays made for a chaotic presentation.
Professor Robert Reed, the Art School’s director of undergraduate studies, said he believes that fitting in all the students’ art is a vital part of the show.
“The whole exhibition is a little more than an art show,” he said. “If you edit it, you would be going against the idea of representing everyone.”
But Reed also said the show could be improved.
“One improvement would be having a more coordinated hanging system,” he said. “[It] would diminish a little of the confusion and visual clutter people see.”
Art majors also said they would have preferred to have more space for their works in the show.
“There’s kind of dispersed sentiment about it,” said Gabrielle Cosel ’02, an art major. “It isn’t the best way to represent us.”
“You can look up 15 feet and there’s still stuff up there,” Julia Fiedler ’03 said.
Senior art majors will have the opportunity to display their works in a more personalized setting at the Senior Comprehensive Exhibition in April.
Reed also suggested moving the undergraduate show to the end of the year, as well as leaving the art up for a longer period of time.
“Right now, it happens in a very awkward period of time, when students just come back [from break],” he said.
But regardless of the show’s drawbacks, Reed said he believes it was a definite improvement over previous years. In the past, many students did not have their names displayed under paintings or even the classes that the work came from.
“This year, there were names on every picture,” Reed said.
And despite what some might call too much “clutter” at the show, many students and faculty still liked the idea of seeing their accomplishments put on display.
“It validates your experience,” said Deborah Kaplan ART ’02, an art teaching assistant. “It makes it more real.”
The show is also a good opportunity for students thinking about enrolling in an art class to see what type of work is done in art classes at Yale, Reed said.
The event is coordinated by the faculty members, with each instructor determining how he or she is to represent a particular course. It has been running for over a decade now and this year was held for the second time in the new Green Hall on Chapel Street.
The Yale School of Art opened in 1869, and was the first art school connected with an institution of higher learning in the country. Although Yale does not currently have an undergraduate art department, it offers undergraduate art classes through the School of Art.
“We believe in the study of art as part of a liberal arts education,” Reed said.