In early 2024, we were honored to attend and support Arcadia University’s tenth Student Biennial Exhibition, which showcased works by current students. The gallery featured 36 pieces of art from 30 students. The art was selected by outside juror Samantha Mitchell of the Center for Creative Works.

The opening reception and awards ceremony took place on January 25th, 2024, and four students were selected to win prizes, namely the Exhibition Award, Faculty Award, 2D Award, and 3D Award. We were very pleased to select the 2D and 3D awards, which went to Charlie Smirga ’24 and Ilija Chacon Flores ’24. In addition to the accolades of winning the awards, we also generously gifted each student with a $150 cash prize.

Charlie Smirga, who is a 5th year student majoring in Scientific Illustration, said this about their piece: “It first started off as simply a study of my face and the different expressions it makes, but while doing so I realized I don’t ever really draw myself smiling. I usually prefer this, because I love drawing all of the different lines and folds my face makes when it scrunches up, whether it be from anger, sadness, jealousy, goofiness, etc. I believe that this is somewhat as an act of instinctual defiance for me personally, which is why I named the piece “Smile For Me”. I wished for my piece to encompass the genuine complexity of feelings and emotions and how my face in particular displays them, rather than showing a “pretty” and idealistic self-portrait which oftentimes limits the overall feelings the portrait could evoke.”

“Smile For Me,” by Charlie Smirga

Custom Picure Framer of Glenside is always happy to support Arcadia University’s art and exhibition programs. “I’m supporting this institution because they support my business and I enjoy helping students through their artistic journey.” Jeremy Sustare (business owner) said about the generous donation. “What I always find is that the students here do great work, and I’m happy to support them in any way I can.”

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