Previous Winners

2016

4th Annual CSE Purchase Award

Theme:  Innovation: How Machines View Us

1st Prize—Lauren Mitro— Out of Countenance

An artwork depicting several head-and-shoulders prints of various orientations, colors, and sizes, all overlapping and on top of each other

Medium: Monotype Print
Dimensions: 15x22.5
My recent work has focused mainly on patterns and the way in which I can alter and change the patterns to create more interesting compositions. I often ask myself if there's anyway that I can take a print one step farther; and in response to this I find myself mixing a lot of different links and blend rolls. What fascinates me most about printmaking is the innumerable amount of opportunities that you have to create limitless types of art - there are so many different variables that you have to manipulate and play with. From the plates themselves, to the way in which you make permanent your art, to the way in which you ink the plate, and then the way that you print them; the pressure, the amount of ink, if you roll it back and forth it can have a blurry effect; there are just so many ways to manipulate your print in a way that only the printmaking process can do. Each print is completely unique to any other ones, even if it looks similar, it never is. It can't be printed from a computer - it can't be replicated. It's an old art form that sometimes gets forgotten which in itself is interesting...

2nd Prize—Jeremiah Johnson— Deconstructed--Square

Artwork showing several pale blue rectangles on a blue-green background, with black lines extending off of some of the edges of rectangles.

Medium: Monotype - Ink on Paper
In my art, I try to blend technology and the natural world. I like to think of ways technology and nature can coexist, though technology has its limits. I took the idea of how machines see us a little literally. Machines don't see as a whole connected things, but rather they see us as pieces of information. When you break down anything in the digital world, you are left with nothing but ones and zeros. Computers see us a deconstructed information, and I sought to show that idea in my work. Machines don't see the complex, they see only the simple, and so I kept these pieces as simple as I could while still getting the point across. Each piece has its unique aesthetic, but the idea is the same.

2015

1st Prize—Bailey Miller— Void

Photo of the corner of a tall building, with a blank marquee hanging from it. Nearby is a window to a room whose light is on, while all the other rooms around it are dark.

Medium: Photograph
Dimensions: 17"x22"

This piece represents an aura of intimacy among a very populated space. Taken in Times Square, New York City, this photograph has an unexpected void. The marquee features no words or advertisements, only empty lights. While the repetition of the windows suggest many inhabitants, only one light is on in a green-tinted room. The lone room with the light on depicts a false sense of privacy. While its owner might think the world doesn't notice, the light can be clearly seen from the streets below. The rest of the darkened rooms remain mysterious, while the lit room is the only one without privacy. This phenomenon represents a metaphor that connects to the security and privacy of digital technology. Encryption is a complex, scary issue that affects everyone who touches technology in some way. While it's easy to feel secure with personal information being stored in so many systems and databases, it's hard to know if our safety is valid. We think we have privacy, when our information might be out there being used in ways we can't imagine. It's like the lit window among the dark that doesn't know it is being observed by others around.

2nd Prize—Eric Hill— The Cloud

Artwork consisting of large splotches of dark colors. The very bottom and rightmost edges are slightly brighter.

2nd Prize—Madeline Hrybyk— Eros and Thanatos

Two forms on a beige background, separated by a gray line. On the left is a form that has a patch of green on the top, a tall patch of brown along the right side, a mustard yellow patch and a dark brown patch on the left side, and a curved green patch across the bottom. On the right is a dark teal shape consisting of several stair-like formations, connected to the underside of three tall forms.

Medium: Monotype
Dimensions: 22"x22"

Eros and Thanatos are age old themes that revolve in a constant battle within each other. Technology has released upon the world a constant battle in relation. Privacy in the modern world is a very hard thing to come by, steps must be taken to ensure information is carefully passed between one another. There becomes a cycle of these passages online through encrypted texts, forming a language which everyone can share.

2014

Theme : Digital Playground

1st Prize—Joseph Harris— Digitize

Several shapes of washed-out color, each connected and passed through by a myriad of gold lines. Gold triangles and quadrilaterals can be seen here and there.

Medium: Lithographic Print, with overlaid drawing and gold leaf
Dimensions: 22"x30"

Digitize is about the play between digital and analog information. Today the most complex and amorphic information can be uploaded into a computer. Through processing the subject matter can be interpreted by the computer. Information can be squeezed out of these complex shapes, sounds or other inputs. And further associations can be brought to the surface regarding these non-digital inputs through data collection and interpretation. I believe this circle of computer aided collection, translation and interpretation to be the driving process in our golden age of information.

 2nd Prize—Amanda Everett— The White Painting

A very colorful painting that has been mostly painted over with white. you can still see spots of the original painting in small holes in the white, and there have also been left large holes through which you can see the original painting: an area of red and yellow is featured prominently, as well as an area of blue, and one of dark colors.

Medium: Oil, acrylic, wax on canvas
Dimensions: 36"x48"

This work deals with the ideas of concealing and revealing. The process can be though of almost as a game of hide and go seek. I began by filling the canvas with many layers of color. The decision to paint over the majority of the painting white has to do with hiding certain parts in order to reveal the most interesting moments of the original full color painting. This process leaves the viewers with pockets of color to focus on and appreciate rather than overwhelming them with a sea of color.

2013

Theme: Cloud Computing

1st Prize—John Hankiewicz— Cloud Box

There is a square black frame in the middle. it is filled with a brick-style pattern, over top of which are a bunch of lines reminiscent of broken glass. In the center is the moon. In the bottom half of the painting, outside the box, is a washed-out black area, with several lines through it, reminiscent of tears through paper. A picture is shown in this region. In the top half, outside the square is an area covered with cloud-like black. In the middle of this area is a break in the clouds to reveal the moon in a teal sky.

2nd Prize—Colin Matsumoto— Accretion

In the top middle area is a pink patch, surrounded by an area of teal, on the far left side of which is a small, tall patch of yellow. on the bottom right part of the teal area is a large washed-out black swirl, with dark black spots scattered through it. The area down and to the left of this swirl is hot pink, and the area straight left of it is hot pink with some yellow patches and black lines. to the bottom left of this area is a small green ring, attached to a larger green ring, both outlined in black.

Medium: Oil, charcoal, graphite, china marker, pastel on canvas
Dimensions: 36"x36"

Instead of approaching the themes as an expert on the subject, I considered them as a consumer of the services through which they are implemented. I focused mostly on the cloud and how that type of computing is integrated into my life. I started making visual diagrams of the information that flows over cloud services, loosely associating these processes with circles, lines, zig-zags and other simple visual symbols. I also started thinking about the way these systems are densely layered and continue to grow as they transition from hardware and software that operate on my end to those that operate over a network. I see both this growth and my layered method of painting as an 'accretion', hence the title of the work.