As in last May's Journeys exhibition, the end of this academic year saw an array of student work on display at NYU Abu Dhabi's Downtown Campus. Including everything from films and essays to performances and visual art, the Festival of Student Work showcased a range of projects across disciplines and divisions and encouraged the University community to come together for one final event before dispersing for the summer.
Organized by NYUAD Exhibition Director Maya Allison and Global Academic Fellows Sahiba Gill and Zachary Troia, the festival received approximately 150 submissions, which were reviewed by a jury made up of members from the University's faculty, staff, Global Academic Fellow, and student communities. "The jury considered the quality of the work and whether it was ready to show, as well as space and time limitations," Allison explained.
In addition to individual submissions from students, nominations from faculty members who entered student projects from their courses throughout the year, and non-course works from members of NYUAD's art student interest group, the jury also saw work from classes in which the faculty opted to have their students go through the jury process without nomination. As Allison said, "Learning how to submit to a festival jury is a key part of the education process for artists."
The three-day festival, which Allison hopes is a precursor to student-curated exhibitions of student work throughout the year, was well received. "Among the great pleasures were the performances, reading, and panel presentations," she said. "I really enjoyed discovering the ideas and thinking behind the faces of these students who I see around campus." The festival also offered a glimpse of the range of projects students are working on and provided the opportunity for collaborative discussion.
As Allison said, "Events like this are part of how a community comes to see itself. It was a great way for us to celebrate the year ending and each other's successes in their work."