Annual Student Art Show Spreads Through Smith Union

For several days before and after the annual Delta Sigma/Delta Upsilon Art Show reception last week, student art was practically everywhere you looked in Smith Union. Sculptures stood guard in front of the bookstore, big oil paintings adorned hallways, drawings were tucked into nooks, and paintings, jewelry, photographs, prints and watercolors were set up throughout the rest of the union.

This was the 15th year of the Delta Sig art contest, and the largest show yet, with works from more than 120 students.

Bonnie Pardue, manager of the Bowdoin Craft Center and student activities, has organized the show since its inception in 1999. She credited much of this year’s growth to the creation of the new student-run Bowdoin Art Society, which encouraged more artists to submit work than ever before. “What was great about the show was that it had all levels of art,” Pardue said. “Everyone felt comfortable submitting, from beginners to art students.”

Tom Rosenblatt ’16, president of the Bowdoin Art Society, said that he had been impressed by previous years’ shows and wanted to expand upon the event and make it more accessible to students. Students submitted 175 individual works, roughly double the number of submitted works in past years.

Each year, the former Delta Sigma/Delta Upsilon fraternity organizes the juried art show, awarding the top artists with $200 each. Peter Simmons ’78, director of the Bowdoin International Music Festival and former member of Delta Sigma/Delta Upsilon, presented the awards to six students.

The criteria included “creativity” and “technical expertise,” Simmons said, though he noted that the wealth of excellent material this year made the selection extremely difficult. This year’s winners, chosen by a blind jury, were Ella Blanchon ’16, Max Blomgren ’14, Samantha Broccoli ’15, Margaret Bunke ’14, Sarah Haimes ’15 and Elijah Ober ’15.

The Delta Sigma/Delta Upsilon fraternity was always progressive, becoming the first Bowdoin fraternity to accept Jews, students of color and women. In 1990, the fraternity sold its house and used the proceeds to establish two funds: one to provide scholarships for students majoring in the visual arts, and the other to support student activities in the arts, including the yearly competition.

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