Students Score Cash Awards at GCIC Art Jam


Julia Perry/San Jacinto Times

Central campus literature major Luis Bracero poses with the murals he presented for review to art faculty and industry professionals on April 15. The event organizers awarded winning submissions a total of $1200 in prizes.

Studio art majors from five area community colleges descended on San Jacinto College Central Campus April 15 to take part in Art Jam, an event offering participants a chance to win up to $1200 in cash prizes, and the opportunity to have their artwork reviewed by college faculty and prominent members of the art community.

Art Jam is sponsored by the Gulf Coast Intercollegiate Consortium (GCIC), a partnership between music and visual art departments of 16 Houston area community colleges that host an array of events ranging from guest clinicians and portfolio reviewers to juried student competitions. According to the organization’s website, “These opportunities enhance the academic experience for the students and allow them to develop professional practice.”

Central campus Art and Design professor Daniel Longtin said he was amazed by the pieces submitted for the event and the effort displayed on the part of participants.

“I am impressed with the artwork so far,” Longtin said. “From what I have seen, many pieces look like extensive labor processes… ”

Students had the opportunity to submit their work for an open group critique delivered by art faculty, and one-on-one portfolio reviews conducted by three guest reviewers: LouAnne Greenwald, Bradford Moody, and Marzia Faggin. Greenwald is the director of the Hillard University Art Museum in Lafayette, Louisiana, while Moody is a Houston-based artist and the director of G-Gallery. Faggin is an artist and collector hailing from San Francisco.

Each of the three reviewers awarded a $300 prize to his or her pick for best portfolio while the faculty taking part in the open critique bestowed three $100 cash prizes to the top choices for best artwork.

Central campus student and event participant Luis Bracero said although he is a literature major, he also has an appreciation for art and is hoping for positive feedback from the reviewers.

“This takes much of my free time, and I am very anxious and excited to show off my work,” he said.

Conner Davis and Brandon Ruhman, both of Brazosport College, as well as South campus student Smita Karihaloo each won $300 awards from the reviewers for their portfolio submissions.  Central campus students Beth Cleary and David Maldonado, along with Kelina Bestrine of Brazosport College each won $100 prizes awarded at the open critique.