Last week we told you about Heather Eck, the winner of the T.G. Mays Purchase Award for the 100th Annual School of Art and Art History Student Exhibition, and now we have another winner’s story to share with you. Ahren Diers, a junior in the College of Fine Arts concentrating on film and video, won the Juror’s Choice Award for his piece, Passing Time. This year’s guest juror was American painter Michael Ray Charles, Professor of Art at the University of Texas at Austin.
Ahren has two pieces in this exhibition: Wheeler and Passing Time. Wheeler is a stop motion animation film made by taking hundreds of photos of a tireless bicycle wheel with his Panasonic GH2 HD camera and tripod. Ahren then edited the photos and added surreal sound effects. Ahren said he always wanted to make a surreal animation, and he thought the bicycle wheel was interesting because it’s something that we hadn’t seen on film before.
Ahren’s second film, Passing Time, won the Juror’s Choice Award. Ahren said this film was also a surreal idea, and he wanted to accentuate color in the film. This film stars Bella Clark, a freshman studying visual arts, whom Ahren wants to thank for trusting in his idea.
“I am very fond of guerilla style filmmaking, and this piece was kind of a run and shoot type of film,” he said. “I like to utilize my surroundings and do so by taking in the environments that I see that are captivating to my eye and have an aesthetic quality in some way. This film is silent, but there’s visual rhythm in it that’s like music, which is very meaningful to me.”
When his name was called to announce that he had won the award, Ahren said he was completely shocked.
“I felt like those people on ‘The Price is Right’ being called to ‘Come on down!’” Ahren said. “That moment my heart just dropped.”
If you are a student thinking about entering this show in the future, Ahren says to go for it because you have nothing to lose and you never know what the outcome will be. Ahren said winning this award encourages him to be proactive and work even harder to advance his craft.
“I know it’s stressful and busy while being in school, especially if you’re a full-time student and are working with a hundred other things to do, but you’ve got to find some time to make it a priority,” Ahren said. “I went into this thinking that I would not be accepted or win anything, and, sure enough, those thoughts were proven wrong. It’s been a great experience, and I would recommend any artist to get their art in this exhibit.”