The fans have voted, and the final score is in. Members of the West Virginia University art faculty have defeated their counterparts from Marshall University in the "Gallery Divided" art exhibit at the Clay Center. Though not on the winning team, Marshall artist Miyuki Akai Cook ran away with the exhibit MVP award.
It was a close match-p as the Mountaineers and Thundering Herd battled for bragging rights in the first-time exhibit, which included paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and even video. Visitors voted for their favorite team and artist from August through November, and the Mountaineer team of Dylan Collins, Alison Helm, Erika Osbourne, Michael Sherwin and Nijun Zhang came out with the win.
Marshall fibers professor Miyuki Akai Cook took home the MVP award in a landslide victory. Cook had three pieces on display, which were made from everyday objects such as coffee filters, paper, Styrofoam and thread. The fan favorite seemed to be her "Fly Away," a piece created specifically for the exhibition that included dozens of origami cranes suspended on pieces of thread.
Cook's teammates were Marshall faculty members Ian Hagarty, Daniel Kaufmann, Natalie Larsen and Brent Patterson.
Arif Khan, the Clay Center's Mary Price Ratrie curator of art, said working with the universities was a great experience.
"Playing off the rivalry between the schools was fun, and it brought a lot of new people to the art gallery," he said in a news release. "From meeting the artists to putting the exhibit together to talking with fans and alumni, everyone had a great time. This is definitely something we'd like to do again."
For information on all Clay Center exhibits, programs and events, visit www.theclaycenter.org or call 304-561-3570.