Student Art Embraces New Mediums

It’s obvious, upon first entering the Mark K. Wheeler gallery at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, that the artists behind these works must be young.

Not because their work is amateur, it is anything but. The art that is on display as part of the 33rd Annual Student Art Show is impressive, exciting, and innovative. Many of the most eye-catching pieces are bright, sharp, and flashy digital illustrations. These students have mastered the traditional disciplines, as well as the more modern ones, such as animation and motion graphics.

I was most impressed by Christopher Maslen’s Attack of the Teddy Bears, an animation piece that earned second place. The image of a large teddy bear with laser beam eyes running after a young boy appears as though it could have been a nightmare, or a scene in a Tim Burton movie.

Several pop icons are represented in the art show, from Bono to the late Notorious B.I.G. Jose Garcia’s Ludacris & Scarface, a portrait of the two rappers smoking cigars, was named Best in Show.

My younger brother, who tagged along for the ride, was also mesmerized by the digital imagery in the exhibit. As we left, he turned to me and asked, “How do they do it?”

I have no idea, but they sure do a hell of a job at it.

The Student Art Show at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale has been extended to June 8th due to popular demand. -- Lauren Papiernik

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