Cincinnati Summerfair Announces 2021's Emerging College Artist Finalists

This year features a virtual showcase of work by college students who were nominated by their professors and analyzed by Summerfair’s panel of judges.

click to enlarge A collage of nominee pieces - summerfair.org
summerfair.org
A collage of nominee pieces

Cincinnati Summerfair has announced its winners and nominees for the 2021 Emerging Artist Exhibition and Awards.

The annual showcase is available to view virtually in absence of the typical in-person event. Viewers can click on each finalist’s image to read their artist statement and view their nominated artwork.

Cincinnati Summerfair is a non-profit organization that brings exposure to local artists in the Greater Cincinnati region. The Emerging Artist Exhibition is a selection of work by college students who were nominated by their professors and analyzed by Summerfair’s panel of judges. 

Twenty finalists were selected by their professors to represent their schools of Miami University, Thomas More University, Mount St. Joseph University, Northern Kentucky University, University Of Cincinnati DAAP, Xavier University and the Art Academy Of Cincinnati.

According to the Emerging Artists panelists, this exhibition is an opportunity for college students to add to their resumes for future professional endeavors.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the artwork was viewed and judged virtually for the first time. 

On the website, Juror Terri Kern explains the each finalist’s body of work was evaluated based on consistency, development of ideas and techniques, and strength of the personal connection forged between the viewer and the piece. 

“Remember, however, that awards are subjective,” Kern wrote in the judging comments. “Not winning an award does not mean that your work doesn’t have value or that it isn’t worth pursuing.”

click to enlarge Nytaya Babbit's first place-winning body of work. - Photo: summerfair.org
Photo: summerfair.org
Nytaya Babbit's first place-winning body of work.


Nytaya Babbit from the Art Academy Of Cincinnati won first place for her entire body of submitted work. 

“I responded to the strength and consistency of her concept and the interesting juxtaposition between the more detailed painting of the young women’s faces and hands and the flat, graphic quality of their clothing,” one of the judges wrote of Babbit’s work. “I’d like to see a whole gallery full of Nyata’s portraits.”

Alex Macon's "Jesus Christ, It's a Black Man!" - Photo: summerfair.org
Photo: summerfair.org
Alex Macon's "Jesus Christ, It's a Black Man!"


Alex Macon from the University Of Cincinnati DAAP won second place for “Jesus Christ, It’s A Black Man!”

“The artist’s use of subject matter, color choices and gentle humor crept up on me and quietly demanded that I look at the world from a new perspective,” one juror wrote.

Matthew Nichols' "Nothing Happens, And It Keeps Not Happening Forever" - Photo: summerfair.org
Photo: summerfair.org
Matthew Nichols' "Nothing Happens, And It Keeps Not Happening Forever"


Xavier University’s Matthew Nichols won third place for “Nothing Happens, And It Keeps Not Happening Forever.”

“The beautifully rendered features, interesting light source and the rest of the composition that was left to the viewer’s imagination, stayed with me,” according to one judge’s comments.

Elizabeth Butler's "Rat's Coat" - Photo: summerfair.org
Photo: summerfair.org
Elizabeth Butler's "Rat's Coat"

Elizabeth Butler from Thomas More University was granted the Jerry Bollen Scholarship Award for “Rat’s Coat.”

“I liked the connection between the fantasy feeling of her painting and the way she was able to manifest that same feeling in her mixed media pieces,” wrote one juror. 

Viewers can read more about the exhibition’s artwork and artist statements on the SummerFair website

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