Al Young Art Show 2013

Challenges of organizing 200 art works in an array of media

May 13, 2013

Katie O'Connor at the Al Young Art Show
Katie O'Connor checks another student's fragile cut-paper art work that would be placed on the wall by the artist

Knox College awarded $3,000 in prizes to 20 students in the 2013 Al Young Art Show at Knox College, including a top prize of a $500 purchase award. More than 200 art works in an array of media created by dozens of student artists were entered in the show, one of the best-funded exhibits of its kind.

One of the students in charge of mounting the works, Katie O'Connor, says it's a challenge to organize a show of that size and diversity. "We try to make sure that things don't get repetitive, that there are color breaks, that things of the same color aren't next to each other," O'Connor said.

The sheer volume and scope of the annual show draws attention, as the pieces are assembled in the Gallery and Lobby of Ford Center for the Fine Arts. "As we've put up the show, people have stopped and taken the time to look and find the things that interest them," O'Connor said. O'Connor doesn't have any entries in this year's competition -- her individual art show is May 20-24 at The Box, a gallery space at 125 S. Kellogg Street in Galesburg.

Eric Crawford (right) and Zach Paluch adjust Crawford's typographic wall sculpture. More photos from the Al Young Art Show are in a slide show at the bottom of this page.

Despite the number of works in each category, "you want everyone's work to stand out," said Zachary Paluch, a senior art major who helped put up the show. "You want to give everyone's work a chance to be well presented, to speak for itself."

The Al Young Art Show features paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, ceramics, graphic designs, photographs and mixed media. Each year, a nationally recognized artist serves as an outside evaluator for the show. This year's judge, New York-based painter Laura Newman, will give a free, public lecture at 4 p.m., Friday, May 10 in the Round Room, followed by the award ceremony. The works are on display through May 18.

The exhibit also provides a venue for several other prizes, including the Blick Art Materials Prize in Design, and Blick certificates awarded in each award category. Sculpture awards are supported by artist Beverly Bender '40; a drawing prize was endowed by Marie Maltby Gunther '36, in memory of her grandson, Matthew Dale Gunther; and the Isaac O. Peterson Studio Award is funded by former students to memorialize the long-time Knox art professor. The purchase award adds one exceptional work to the Knox collection.


Scenes from preparation and award ceremony at the annual Al Young Art Show at Knox College.

Awards and Prizes in the 2013 Al Young Art Show

Name Major Hometown Award
Laura Gabriela Castanos Studio Art Lindenhurst, IL Al Young Show Purchase Award
Berhane Tendai Cole Studio Art Glendale, WI Young Award in Non-traditional Media
Colin Coutts Studio Art and Art History Chicago, IL Young Award in Painting and the Bender Scholar Award in Art History
Anthony Edwin Deibner Hanson Studio Art Mount Vernon, IA Bender Award in Sculpture
Bridget Shannon Doherty Studio Art Oak Park, IL Blick Certificate for Ceramics
Keegan Marie Dohm Undecided Belingham, WA Blick Award in Graphic Design
Hadley Marie Gephart Gender & Women's Studies Evanston, IL Campbell Award in Printmaking
Bethany Jean Larson Asian Studies Fairfield, IA Blick Certificate for Sculpture
Allison Rose Lewis Undecided Brooklyn, NY Young Award in Drawing
Molly Leeanne Loudon Studio Art Lincoln, NE Blick Certificate for Non-traditional Media
Gabriel Granat Moreno Studio Art Galesburg, IL Blick Certificate for Studio
Molly M. Olson Studio Art Portland, OR Blick Certificate for Graphic Design and the Peterson Studio Award
Zachary Edward Paluch Studio Art Chicago, IL Blick Certificate for Painting
Coltan Gable Parker Undecided Oswego, IL Blick Certificate for Drawing
Carmen Ribaudo Undecided Clayton, MO Blick Certificate for Printmaking
Cody William Sehl Computer Science Lake Forest, IL Blick Certificate for Nontraditional Media
Benjamin Edward Stanger Undecided Madison, WI Young Award in Ceramics
Estefania Vazquez Studio Art Galesburg, IL Gunther Prize in Drawing
Lotte Vonk Theatre Amsterdam, Netherlands Young Award in Photography
Teagan Wenger Yaussy Undecided Oak Park, IL Bliock Certificate for Photography

Newman has had solo shows at Jen Bekman Gallery, 1GAP Gallery, The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, Lesley Heller Workspace, Bellwether Gallery, Tenri Gallery and Victoria Munroe Gallery. Her work has been included in many group exhibitions, recently at Fordham University, Lesley Heller Workspace and Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, and at The National Academy of Art, Monya Rowe Gallery, The Weatherspoon Museum of Art, and The New Museum. Her publications include a catalog from NSCAD University with essays by John Yau and Amy Sillman, and reviews in The Brooklyn Rail, Artforum Magazine, The New York Times, and Bomb Magazine.

A faculty member at Vassar College, Newman has received fellowships and awards from The American Academy in Rome, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the New York Foundation on the Arts. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Newman studied at Cooper Union, the California Institute of the Arts, and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

The show is named after Albert C. Young, a 1969 Knox graduate who, although not an art major, began contributing toward a prize in drawing while he was still a student. The event was formally named after him in 1971, when he became its primary benefactor. A long-time social studies teacher at Roosevelt School in Belleville, Illinois, Young continued to fund prizes in ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking and photography. After Young's death in 1993, the awards have been funded by gifts from his sister, Ann A. Young '68. Several of the awards are named in honor of their parents, Albert G . Young and Anna Elisabeth Young.