Photo contest promotes artistic outlet
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013 17:02
The 12 winners of the Aggie Frame of Mind Contest had their artwork unveiled Friday in the Memorial Student Center.
The contest — put on once a semester — offered students a chance to submit work and awarded the winners by putting their photography on display in the MSC.
“We wanted the students of A&M to be able to display their creativity in a prominent way,” said Jessie Ayers, education executive of the visual arts committee and junior visualization major. “[The] VAC’s mission is to bring art to the campus. We wanted an outlet for students to showcase their work other than our annual Art Fest competition.”
The Aggie Frame of Mind competition is a new program addition to the VAC and was inspired by a similar program at the University of Texas in Austin. Every semester, the displayed photos are rotated and the contest begins anew with a different theme for contestants to capture.
Tanner Hladek, senior visualization major, had two works displayed in the gallery that received first and fourth place, respectively.
“I kind of just like to take pictures to create a beautiful image,” Hladek said. “I’m not necessarily all about having a specific message behind it. I really just enjoy making something that somebody will look at and just feel something.”
The two works Hladek entered, Aquatic and Hydration reflect this semester’s theme of vibrancy. The photos were judged on a number of criteria including composition, creativity, aesthetics and technical use of the camera. Contestants also submitted a writer’s statement to give insight into the inspiration or meaning for their piece. Some believe that the contest helps foster an artistic environment that the A&M campus is not well-known for.
“We promote our own campus,” Danika Ostrowski, chairman of the visual arts committee and sophomore visualization major said. “A&M is not necessarily known for having a huge art scene and having a lot of outlets for art, so we try to connect students to art and give them opportunities to be able to show their art.”
Jake Ruesink, senior university studies major, placed third for his piece, Green Side of the Quad, which was taken Sept. 11 2012, on Kyle Field when the flags were at half-staff in remembrance of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
“I wanted to pick something that represented A&M and our culture,” Ruesink said. “I figured taking a picture from Kyle Field and doing one on campus would be really cool.”
Ruesink, whose interests lie in web development and aspires to own a design business, follows photography as a passion and will enjoy having his work displayed in the MSC.
“It’s a pretty cool accomplishment to have something that you’ve produced be in the MSC,” Ruesink said. “I am a graphic designer in web development, so it is cool to have a little portfolio and say what I have accomplished.”
Apart from providing students with a venue to be recognized for their work, some find that the contest provides a venue to display their creativity and the world around them.
“I enjoy looking at the scenes and seeing God’s beauty in that,” Ruesink said. “Just getting the best view of what is going on and trying to look for something that other people don’t see.”