“Vox Populi” (latin for “Voice of the People”) is an annual art show put on by the Helen E. Copeland Gallery on the second floor of the School of Art’s Haynes Hall. The show is open to all MSU undergraduate students of any artistic discipline. Because of this, the exhibition is a unique combination of art spanning the gamut from photos to sculptures. Also since students submitting work don’t have to be enrolled in or involved with the Art Department it gives a variety of majors a chance to be exhibited.
A total of 84 artists submitted this year, creating a pool of 205 submitted works. The two jurors — Linda Williams and Michele Corriel — then sorted through all of the submitted pieces and narrowed it down to a selection of 125 works. The Helen E. Copeland gallery is now filled with a diverse range of art including graphite drawings, pigment prints, ceramics, oil paintings and various works of metalsmithing — ranging from rings, necklaces and belt buckles to sculptures.
“It is an exceptional body of work that shows the technical and intellectual range coming from the undergraduates here in the School of Art!” exclaimed Randi O’Brien, this year’s curator. O’Brien says this year’s exhibition is one of the largest ever, and that fitting the 125 submissions into the gallery was “was an ambitious effort, but the quality of work and the formal (color, shape, line, value) flow makes fitting this number of works into the space successful.”
One can immediately tell what O’Brien means upon entering the gallery — in one corner stands a twisting, willow-like tree sculpture titled “Frigid Tree,” while a watercolor painting of a tree on a slab of oak (titled “Tree of Change #2”) juxtaposes the sculpture on an adjacent wall. In another corner sits a wooden, mirrored installation titled “Parallax.” Three tall wooden boards are connected to form a triangular structure, while the insides of the boards are mirrored. There are small windows cut into the walls so that one can peer into the repetitive reflections within. In yet another section of the gallery a small glass case contains some small, intricate pieces of silver jewelry, while an adjacent platform displays a pale green ceramic teapot and tea bowl. The walls of the gallery are hung with an interesting progression of images — as, a photorealistic graphite portrait is surrounded by warm, golden-brown acrylic painted still-lifes. Overall the show is a fantastically diverse and colorful representation of the artistic ability and range of MSU students.
The show is also a competition, with the first prize winner taking home $100, while second and third place earn $75 and $50, respectively. There’s is also a raffle for additional prizes for the artists that entered, taking place during the formal reception. This year’s Vox Populi takes place February 11 – 26, with an artist’s reception on Thursday, Feb. 20, from (6:30p.m. – 8:30p.m.) O’Brien hopes “to see everyone come to celebrate the talent of the School of Art undergraduates.”