Monday, March 19, 2018

2018 Juried Exhibition of Student Art

The world knows us as the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Since 1982, we have invited over 400 violinists to participate in our Competition and have been instrumental in expanding the successful careers of many of the Laureates as a result of their musicianship on the Indianapolis stage. What the world may not know about us, is that since 1986, there has also been a visual arts component to each subsequent Competition. Teachers and their students from around the state of Indiana have been invited to contribute to an exhibition dedicated to artwork surrounding the violin and the music it inspires.

'Untitled' by Alexis Adams, Grade 9 (2014)
Cowan High School, Muncie, IN
One of 30 Grand Award Winners
Each year, 30 Grand Award prizes are distributed - a total of $10,000 between those artists and their schools or sponsoring organizations. Those winning works of art are then displayed in a public exhibition during the Competition and for the following two years, and the images are reproduced into individual notecards which patrons can then purchase for personal use.

Our guest blogger this month is Rosalie Held, longtime supporter of the arts, IVCI Board member and arts advocate for the state of Indiana and its students. To explain more about the Juried Exhibition of Student Art (JESA), Rosalie, as its State Director, has kindly provided a brief history of this wonderful initiative, which runs parallel to each Quadrennial Competition.


When the first Quadrennial of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis was held in 1982, it was thought the addition of an educational visual art component would be a wonderful idea for the next Competition. Subject matter was to be two-dimensional representations of the violin and its music. What became known as the Juried Exhibition of Student Art (JESA) was open to students for the 1986 Competition in grades 1-12 in Marion County and those counties contiguous to it.

It was so successful, particularly since it was designed and implemented entirely within Indiana, the Indiana Arts Commission and the Fine Arts Consultants to the State Department of Education encouraged the expansion of the project to include the entire state for the next Competition in 1990. Since then, it remains the largest “home-grown” arts education project in the state of Indiana. Currently, teachers have registered over 26,000 students to participate for the 2018 Juried Exhibition of Student Art.

The IVCI provides study guides and visual representations of famous works of art featuring the violin. The JESA program is specifically aligned to meet the standards of the Indiana Academic Standards for Visual Arts.

Rosalie Held
JESA State Director
That's the history and statistical information regarding JESA. The truly exciting part is what it has produced:

·         Many past award winners have gone on to pursue careers in art.
·         Some have become art teachers as a direct result of their participation as students in JESA.
·         Many at-risk students have abandoned involvement in unlawful activities to spend time working on their entries for JESA.
·         Music and art teachers have collaborated to integrate information for their students.
·         Some past Grand Award winners now teach and have helped to produce the next generation of Grand Awards Winners.

On a personal note, it has been my privilege to serve as the State Director for JESA every Quadrennial since 1986. Observing Regional and Grand Award judging sessions, I have seen well over 5,000 artistic representations of the violin. I’ve met hundreds of creative, dedicated teachers and heard the stories of so many student participants.

While the JESA program has been the most satisfying project a lifetime passion for arts education has produced, the bottom line is this:

We must work to support and expand our state’s educational efforts in arts education.

A past national judge, the author of many texts on art education, said this in response to a high-level executive (who had been a college friend) when he was asked:  Just what is the value of art education – really? Why is it of value in today’s world?

Ernie Goldstein’s reply was animated and enthusiastic:

“Do you need problem solvers in business? Do you need creative thinkers? Do you need innovation? Do you need people who can look at a straight line and see what it can become if curved and changed? Do you need critical thinkers?”

Ernie’s friend answered in the affirmative.

“Well,” said Ernie, “We teach them for you.”

Rosalie Held
State Director
Juried Exhibition of Student Art

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