Ringling College Invites Community to View 2017 Best Of
Ringling College of Art and Design celebrates its students this month with the annual 2017 Best Of Ringling Exhibitions, highlighting work from fine art and illustration to computer animation and advertising design. Spanning six of the college’s galleries, including the debut show for the newly opened Lois and David Stulberg Gallery in the still-rising Basch Visual Arts Center, more than 500 pieces from more than 500 students across 11 different departments are on display, giving the community and fellow students a broader look at the work being done at all corners of campus.
In the Patricia Thompson Gallery in the Keating Center, a selection of portraits and the occasional landscape or interior make up the photography exhibition, while just a quick walk up the wooden gangway across the street leads into the Stulberg Gallery, where computer animation and game art hold court. Concept art for fantastical worlds cover the walls and miniature screening areas with seating and flat-screen TVs rotate through selected animated short films and video game trailers that look like AAA releases. Board games, created and illustrated by Ringling students, sit under glass cubes like relics. By one wall, a gaming station to try some of the computer games built in-house.
For the fine arts, head across Old Bradenton Road to the Crossley Gallery to see the latest in more traditional media, but save time for the Larry R. Thompson Academic Center, which houses both the Willis Smith Gallery and Basch Gallery—each overflowing with student work. In the Basch Gallery, take a gander at advertising design and graphic design projects, and stop by the trio of televisions for a quick but exhilarating time-lapse run-through of the intricacies of motion design. Out one door and through another, and the Smith Gallery highlights work being done by the interior design department and the business of art and design department, with one half dedicated to illustration.
A juried competition, each department brings in an outside juror to critique student work and award the best. At each stop, readings on the wall introduce the juror and their expectations, along with their comments on the award winners. Prizes range from prestige to scholarships to both.
“It’s a lot of work,” says Ringling College Curator of Exhibitions Mark Ormond, “but it’s the most fun show because there’s participation across campus and across majors.” A “campus-wide effort,” the team starts planning back in the fall but the work pays off with one of the college’s most popular shows each year. “It’s very rewarding to see over 1000 people coming on campus,” says Ormond. “It’s a window into what’s happening here and what new ideas are being brought forth by very talented young people.”
The 2017 Best Of Ringling Exhibitions run through April 22.
Pictured: Work from the interior design department on view in the Willis Smith Gallery. Photo courtesy of Ringling College.