O’Connor Art Gallery recognizes emerging student artists |

Photo credits: Chelsea Zhao

Chelsea Zhao

Personal editor

DU’s O’Connor Art Gallery exhibited artwork and awarded prizes at the Annual Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony on March 30.

The gallery showcases the work of 32 students and 13 artistic mediums, including acrylic, printmaking, woodcut, charcoal, photography, fashion wear, and more.

“It’s amazing, the whole show; all the students are incredibly talented and each person has their own specific theme as well as their own artistic ability,” said Ezmeralda Lopez, who attended the ceremony.

A total of eight categories were selected for the exhibition with one winner each.

Untitled (2022) by Gina Miraglia won the Ceramics category. Spirituality (2021) by Ximena Castillo won the Design/Illustration category. 2 Women at Rest (2022) by Emily Reynoso Munoz won the drawing category and Best of Show, Rocco Rebelle (2021) by Patyjazmin Ruiz won the fashion category; Beware Imminent Father (2022) by Cesar Torres won the Painting category; Untitled No. 2 by Celeste Morales from the series Dressed in Noir (2021) won the Photography category and El Jarabe Tapatio (2021) by Salma Jimenez won the Printmaking category.

“I’ve always found it very difficult to do pose poses, and it was mostly a challenge because it’s one of my first times doing a big ink drawing, so it was a bit tedious, but it was worth it in the end; I really like how it turned out,” Munoz commented on his work. She did the drawing for a DU art class and the process took about 30 minutes.

“My series is autobiographical, so I kind of talk about my experience of being a father, and being a worker and at the same time being an artist,” commented Cesar Torres on Beware Imminent Father. “So I tried to convey those three things and combine them into one and try to use elements of my work.”

Torres found the metal fence at a construction site and painted the portrait of a gorilla-headed man with oil paint.

“I work as work, so work usually works for a long time, usually you feel dehumanized by hard work, that’s why instead of being a man, it becomes a gorilla, an ape and the posture , I just referred to some of the Renaissance and religious paintings,” Torres said.

Jimenez’s woodblock piece, El Jarabe Tapatio, was inspired by the dance of the same name. It seeks to capture the spirit of Hispanic Heritage Month and its cultural identity. The whole sculpting process took her a month, and she meticulously lined up the paper and ink during her art class.

Rosary College of Arts and Sciences Dean Chad Rohman chose Jimenez’s El Jarabe Tapatio as his purchases To buy? Price.

“This [the prize] always seems surreal to me, but at the same time, I’m happy to be able to share my works and it’s also part of my culture, so I’m happy that everyone can also see and contemplate them, ”said Jimenez.

All submitted artwork went through a two-tier process: a panel of faculty from the Department of Art and Design selected the entries and a guest juror judged the work.

Cydney M. Lewis, artist, educator and co-director of the Tiger Strikes Asteroid Chicago gallery, judged the works from 2,022 submissions, according to gallery director Karen Azarnia. Lewis is the 2021 Make a Wave winner and has presented exhibitions nationally and internationally.


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