Bigger and better, but compact


Union’s 20”x 20” x 20”  exhibition combines quality, fresh idea

By Anne Price

Advocate arts critic


When the LSU  Union Art Gallery introduced 20”x20”x20”:A National Compact Competition

some years ago, it seemed  like an entertaining idea and a challenge for a limited number of regional


  The competition has grown and become  a major nationwide affair, and the quality has grown

with the numbers.  The 2005 version of the exhibition, showing through May 13, is a superior

collection, with the work of artists from New York to Hawaii and a challenging combination of

materials and artistic ideas.

  Rich personal involvement, social commentary, fun and whimsy all appear in this show, which

presents 64 artists and 85 works of art chosen from entries by 256 artists in 23 states.

  Juror for the show was Stephanie Hanor, curator of contemporary art in San Diego, who said

she tried to create an exhibit with “singular, personal and at times quirky artistic personality.”

It appears that she succeeded in her goal.

  The entire show is fairly even in quality, with good technical skills as well as intriguing ideas

on the wall.  Spend a little time in the gallery and you’ll recognize irony and faith, a touch of

dismay and laughter.

  Winners reflect the diversity and skill of the entire show.  New York artist SoonAe Tark was

the first place winner of $1,500 for her painting, “In Green,” a triumph of design and color. 

Irregular, curved blocks and shapes of color are skillfully placed on a white background to create

a cheerful, mood-brightening composition.  Tark  also has two other pieces in the show –

“In Yellow” and “In Red” – with similar design and purpose.