Arcadia Exhibitions Launches the “Student Biennial 2024”

By Dan DiPrinzio | January 26, 2024

Arcadia Exhibitions has launched the tenth edition of the Student Biennial featuring works by current students.

The exhibition, which will be displayed in Harrison Gallery through Feb. 18, is a gallery of 36 pieces of art from 30 different student artists selected by an outside juror. Any Arcadia student who was registered for classes during the fall 2023 semester was eligible to submit up to three works for consideration. 

This year’s juror was Samantha Mitchell, who is the lead curator/production manager at Center 4 Creative Works in Wynnewood, Pa. Mitchell is also the co-founder and director of THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, a publishing and curatorial project that foregrounds work by neurodivergent artists.

Mitchell selected the 36 entries from a pool of 100 submissions by Arcadia students. 

The works selected include digital and film photographs, paintings, prints undertaken in a variety of techniques, several examples of functional ceramics, poster designs, collage, an artist book, as well as drawings completed in graphite and colored pencil.

Gertrude Smith ’27, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking, created an acrylic painting of a woman with a knitting piece in her hand that came out of the picture and stretched down to the floor.

“I wanted to make a piece that showcases how wonderful creation can be,” said Smith, who won the Faculty Award for her piece. “I love finding ways to make innovative pieces and bring different materials to life.”

Willow Edmunds ’26, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Scientific Illustration, drew the face of a man and then a skull right next to it with the same exact facial expression. 

Edmunds said the piece was part of a project for their figure-drawing class where they had to study an anatomical structure of a human figure.

“I chose to focus on the skull because I’m not very comfortable drawing them and I wanted to challenge myself,” Edmunds said. “I drew the man first and then drew the skull to mimic his expression.”

Awards at the opening ceremony on Thursday were presented by Matthew Borgen, director of Arcadia Exhibitions. They were as follows:

Exhibition Award: Xavier Dube ’27

Faculty Award: Gertude Smith ’27; 

2D Award: Charlie Smirga ’24

3D Award: Ilija Chacon Flores ’24

The 2D and 3D awards were for $150 each and were donated by Jeremy Sustare, owner of Custom Picture Framer in Keswick Village. 

“I’m supporting this institution because they support my business and I enjoy helping students through their artistic journey,” said Sustare, who also employs two Arcadia graduates in his shop. “What I always find is that the students here do great work, and I’m happy to support them in any way I can.”