The CU Colorado Springs Student Artists’ Connection (the campus art club), is co-sponsoring two annual Spring art exhibitions featuring works by student artists. This annual Student Art Exhibition at the Gallery of Contemporary Art is juried and submissions come from any student enrolled at CU Colorado Springs. The Jurors for this year’s Student Art Exhibition are Chris Weed, a local sculptor and former UCCS art student, and Jerry Dowdy, a local gallery owner and artsit. Student artists may elect to show work juried out of this exhibit in a special exhibition called the “Salon des Refuses” which takes place in the lower level of the University Center. This spin off exhibition is very popular and invites comparison with the “accepted” works at the Gallery of Contemporary Art.
The “Salon des Refuses” exhibit takes its mane from the exhibit sanctioned by Napoleaon III in 1863 as a result of public outcry at the Impressionist’s exclusion from the annual French Academies Beaux Arts Salon. These artists were attacked in the press of the day as being revolutionists, incompetents, and anarchists. It has always been an easy target to be critical of new art because it is human in nature to invest ourselves with authority in matters involving aesthetic judgment. Likewise, new ideas have always invited the wrath of the complacent, the stupid, and the ignorant who frequently make up the court of public opinion. Of course, today, the Impressionists are the best-known and most popular artsists of all time.
Support for the 2003 Student Art Exhibition was provided by the Colorado Council on the Arts,a state agency funded by the Colorado General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts; the CU Colorado Springs Student Government on behald of the student body; the Student Artists’ Union; the Department of Visual and Performing Arts; Springs Magazine; and the Gallery’s membership.