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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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MSC VAC offers professional experience, competition through ArtFest 2021


Artwork is available for viewing online and on display in the Reynolds Gallery.

ArtFest 2021 submissions will be displayed in the James R. Reynolds Student Art Gallery until Thursday, April 29.
ArtFest, an art competition sponsored by the Memorial Student Center’s Visual Arts Committee, or MSC VAC, gives students an opportunity to showcase their work and gain valuable experience.
According to the MSC VAC website, the ArtFest 2021 exhibit can be experienced online as well as in person, and the annual competition is available to all Texas A&M students.
“The students who submit artwork to ArtFest come from any major, any experience level, and any age,” their website reads.
Since joining the organization in January of 2020, classics senior and incoming MSC VAC chair Gracie Peña said the group has served as a creative outlet for her.
“The Visual Arts Committee engages the Texas A&M and Brazos Valley community through art exhibits and lectures, demonstrations with artists, competitions and other visual programs as well as weekly meetings,” Peña said. “It’s a really great time for artists and art lovers.”
Regardless of skill level or knowledge about art, Peña said the organization welcomes everyone.
“It’s a lot of fun every week,” Peña said. “We get to curate our own gallery and plan our own exhibits in the MSC, and it really doesn’t get better than that when you’re a student.”
Since the art field tends to be competitive, Peña said the experiences MSC VAC provides are incredibly beneficial.
“It’s an opportunity to get professional artistic experience,” Peña said. “We’re also part of the MSC, so we represent all the MSC values.”
Announced on April 9, ArtFest’s 2021 awardees include first place winner Crystal Scott, tied second place winners Bernardo Meza and Zachary Martinez, third place winner Benjamin Baaske and overall film winner Victoria Abruzzese. The artists who created the top three pieces received a cash prize.
Regarding ArtFest, Peña said it is a student competition meant to show off A&M’s talent in the visual arts.
“It gives students exposure that they probably otherwise wouldn’t have,” Peña said. “You can submit really any type of visual media from painting and drawing, to ceramics, videos, etc.”
The pieces are examined through a panel of judges from around the Bryan-College Station area, Peña said.
“We also have a popular vote winner,” Peña said. “Our popular vote winner was a shrine sculpture type of thing. It’s really hilarious, and I believe it was interactive, so that was really cool.”
Third place winner environmental design architectural studies junior Zachary Martinez said he began working on his winning piece in 2019.
“Visualizing anything really has always interested me,” Martinez said. “I was applying concepts that I learned in architecture classes, and I used 3D software to control the layout.”
After finding out his piece received third place, Martinez said it felt rewarding.
“I had been involved as a participant a couple of times prior to this one, so it was amazing to win,” Martinez said. “I’ve been impressed over the years to see the type of visual art they’ve come out with for this competition.”

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