She rolled the dice on chance art and it paid off. Hiroko Lancour, a graduate student in the fine arts program at Wayne State University (WSU), won first place in the scholarship show at Detroit Artists Market (DAM) last week with work that includes a piece determined by coin tosses. "Her work is amazing," said Julia Maiuri, an undergraduate student who also won an award. Lancour could not stick around for too long, as she had another opening reception for a show with her work to attend that same night.
Maiuri made a strong impression with her six paintings, five of which were sold at the opening reception despite her coming in at third place. This achievement is due entirely to her impressive technical skill; she does not need to resort to controversial subject matter to make sales. Prof. Jim Nawara praised Maiuri profusely, then summarized "Just say she's a very good artist."
Maiuri's paintings at DAM show a stylistic progression. The close-up of her own hands, which showed at Whitdel Arts last year, displays a meticulous level of detail. Her more recent works are softer and hazier but no less frank and skillful. "Her new style is a great progression," said Rachel Bourgault, Vice-President of Membership at Whitdel Arts. Although it is Maiuri's two older paintings at DAM that have shown at Whitdel, Bourgault prefers Maiuri's new paintings. (Lancour has also exhibited at Whitdel).
Clara DeGalan, a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) student, won second place. Her paintings, which have lots of shadows, explore "the tension between a thing that is specific and a thing that is vague in general," DeGalan said. She admires all the work of her classmates. "If money was no object, I would have all of this in my house right now," she said.
Also showing at DAM is a small selection by current and former WSU instructors. The exhibit will run until April 6, according to the gallery's website. A gallery talk is slated for March 16 at noon. The WSU student newspaper, The South End, published an article on the show in the March 6―12 issue.