The battle for over $1,000 in prize money that will take place over
the next few weeks in the Viking Union Gallery will be a quiet one,
involving plenty of careful, pensive squinting. Beginning May 19, the
gallery will host the Beyond Borders International Art Competition.
Now in its 19th year, the competition highlights artwork created by
Fine Arts students from across the Northwest.
“The diversity of students and the places that these different students
are coming from is way larger than a typical show that we put
on at Western,” said VU Gallery Coordinator Caitlin Scott. “Because
of that, we get a lot of different mediums, a lot of different styles, just
a lot of different modes of expression that aren’t necessarily what our
students are working with or doing.”
The competition is open to students in Washington, Oregon,
Idaho, northern California and British Columbia.
There will be 15 total artists featured in the exhibition, all vying
for the prize money. The winners will be decided by a panel of judges
assembled by Scott. She wanted to find judges with a variety of expertise
in art, so she brought in Rebecca L. Hutchins of the Whatcom
Museum, Western assistant professor in interdisciplinary studio arts
foundations Pierre Gour and Western associate professor of art history
“All of these judges have a really rich background in art,” Scott
The artists in the show work in a variety of mediums, with everything from photography to wood block print to plaster sculpture. Camila Frey-Booth used coffee, wine and cigarette ash to create images
on a piece of wool, while Evan Rumble’s work involves pouring
paint over three dimensional pyramids jutting from the canvas.
The competition will conclude on June 4 with a closing reception
from 6-8 p.m. during which winners will be announced and attendees
will be able to meet the artists.
“It’s a really awesome way to come support emerging artists and to
come see what your peers are creating, not just at Western, but across
the whole northwest,” Scott said.