As an artist, deciding what type of work to create isn’t always a crystalline process – some artists feel a natural pull towards a medium, and others rhythmically oscillate between several different forms. In the case of this year’s annual Alexander A. Goldfarb Juried Student Exhibition winners, Emily Hadorn ’18 and Krista Guerin ’18, both artists took risks when choosing a piece to submit. With two $1,000 purchase prizes awaiting the winners, their risks matched the reward.
Emily, a senior illustration major from Leominster, Mass., submitted a black-and-white photograph to the show instead of an illustration. This was her first time entering the Goldfarb exhibition, and as an artist hoping to establish a career in comics, she approaches photography with more fun than formality.
“The photo I submitted was just one that I took on a random afternoon with my partner,” she says. “In previous years, I didn’t think I had any pieces that would work for that show, but when I heard that [the juror] had a background in photography and film, I thought of this one piece and had a feeling it might do well. I love the photo I entered. It always stood out to me for some reason.” Emily recalls the day she took the winning photograph fondly, and now that it’s earned recognition, it’s even more sentimental.
Fellow winner Krista Guerin, a senior painting major from Chicopee, Mass., submitted a painting to the Goldfarb exhibition for the past two shows. Both pieces were from her “Shower Series,” inspired by her love for water. To her, this year’s piece expresses more compositional freedom and harnesses the compositional lessons she’s learned.
“This piece is smaller and cropped more closely than my usual work,” says Krista. “It doesn’t show my full subject, which was an unusual risk for me. I didn’t know why I found my way to that subject until after I painted it. Then I realized it was all about the vulnerable, intimate moments everyone has when they’re alone—the ones you don’t normally see.”
Krista came to HAS with a deep love for abstract expressionism, but struggled to practice it in her own work as a painter. She found her way to photorealism with the encouragement of Power Boothe, one of her professors, at which point she says she finally felt comfortable with her direction. She plans to submit work to more juried shows through the spring and after graduation.
All current University of Hartford students, regardless of their major, were invited to submit up to two works of art to be considered for the exhibition. Works chosen by the juror become a permanent part of the Goldfarb Memorial Collection, owned by the Hartford Art School and proudly displayed throughout the University’s public spaces. Both Emily and Krista each received a $1,000 purchase prize, but beyond the prize itself, the results of the Goldfarb show inspired them to see their professional practices in a new light.