Chelsea Flowers of Aurora has been selected to receive the 2013 Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts. Flowers is a senior at Denison University in Granville.
Flowers is one of six students chosen for the award. Each of the winners will receive an exhibition of their work and this year's custom award sculpture.
"I have a peculiar relationship with art making," said Flowers, who said she reflects on events that occur in her life and then responds to them. "I photograph, sculpt, perform, sew and crochet. Since the way I make art is personal and therapeutic, the process is much more important than the actual product. I gain empowerment by demonstrating control over the outcome of an event."
"It has been such a pleasure to see Chelsea and her work mature during her four years at Denison," said Sheilah Wilson, assistant professor of studio art. "I distinctly remember a project she made called 'The Way I Play With Dolls.' I was struck by her use of deadpan humor to address issues as complicated as race, gender and socioeconomics."
Flowers' works will now be entered into a competition for two final awards, the Grand Award and the People's Choice Award.
Visual-arts community leaders from across the state and Ohio legislator Rep. Cliff Rosenberger, chairman of the House Higher Education Finance Subcommittee, will determine the Grand Award winner, who will receive a $2,500 cash prize and have a piece of their art purchased by AICUO to be hung in the governor's office for the next year.
The People's Choice Award will be given to the student whose work receives the most votes on the website www.aicuoartaward.com. The awards will be presented at Denison University on April 3.