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February 8, 2001

Student Art Awards Exhibit

When artists set out to create, they are faced with infinite design choices - what size, shape, light, value, color, texture, space, time and motion will express their intent? On the surface, it seems simple, but mastering the principles of design can take an entire college career, if not a lifetime.

Each spring semester, CSUS art students interested in how the public responds to their design choices can enter their artwork in a juried award show and have professionals from the art community critique their work.

The Student Art Award Show, exhibited at the Robert Else and Raymond Witt galleries this year through March 7, prepares students for the competitive art world and, for the winners, provides cash prizes and scholarships.

"I was honored to have been chosen," said Suzanne Smith, a CSUS graduate student who won several awards last year. "The $2,000 I received helped to pay my fees at school and buy art supplies. Most importantly it was validating to have my artwork chosen. The awards helped to build my confidence so that I can better navigate the very competitive and difficult art world."

This year's judges were artists Ruth Rippon and Suzanne Adan and the awards will be presented by Rollin Potter, School of the Arts director, at noon on Monday, Feb. 12 in the galleries.

The students competed for four different awards and scholarships.

The Raymond and Joyce Witt Scholarship was created in 1978 to memorialize the Witts. Raymond Witt was the chair of the CSUS art department from 1960 to 1972. He was a painter who exhibited widely in Northern California, including the Crocker Art Museum. His wife Joy was a dedicated teacher. As the couple prepared for retirement, they saved money for a home on the coast.

Sadly, Raymond Witt contracted multiple sclerosis and it became evident that they would not be able to enjoy the home they had planned. The Witt's love of this campus led them to give that retirement money to the scholarship that bears their names. Each year the scholarship amount varies, but it can be as large as $1,000.

The Increase Robinson Memorial Fellowship Award was created in 1984 in memory of Robinson. Robinson studied art at Wellesley College, the University of Chicago and the Chicago Art Institute. She was head of the Federal Works Progress Administration for 11 Midwestern states for several years. When she moved to Sacramento she continued her painting and involvement in the arts community. Upon her death, her friends and family honored her by establishing the memorial fund in her name to assist art students at CSUS with yearly awards of $1,000 each.

The Peyser Prize in Painting, named after Fredrick Peyser and founded in 1992, is an award for CSUS undergraduates who work in two-dimensional media. Peyser was the editor at The Commercial and Financial Chronicle and was devoted to promoting education, particularly for the less fortunate. The prize amounts vary each year.

The Jam Studio Inc. Award was created by CSUS alumnus Joanne Marquardt. In the 1980s, Marquardt started her own ceramic company that grew to employ more than 100 people. She sold the business and now owns Jam Studios, Inc. In appreciation of the CSUS art department and faculty she worked with, Marquardt donated money for awards of $1,000 to be given annually to graduate students.

The entries and winners in this year's Student Art Award Show are on exhibit from noon to 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday in the Else and Witt galleries through March 7.

For more information, contact the art department at 278-6166. For media assistance contact the CSUS public affairs office at (916) 278-6156.


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