Armstrong State University's sixth annual National 2-D Competition Exhibition closes Jan. 20, but there's still time to check out the incredible selection of photography, paintings, drawings, prints, watercolors and mixed media pieces at the school's Fine Arts Gallery. With a reception set for 12:15 p.m. Jan. 18, this exhibit certainly deserves attention outside the immediate student body because of the high caliber of the work.

While Savannah College of Art and Design understandably tends to get most of the attention when it comes to collegiate art in Savannah, it's worth noting that schools like Armstrong also have some exceptionally talented students producing great work and equally competitive classes and programs.

"As a public college, we are open to the community and we want the community to know we have a quality art program," explains Alicia Perez, a foundations in art and art appreciation professor who spearheaded this year's 2-D exhibition along with gallery director Pang-Chieh Hsu. "We want people to know we are here and we have really good faculty. We want to reach into the community and promote ourselves a little bit more and we're making advances toward that."

While the current exhibition isn't exclusive to Armstrong students, it's a great example of the level of quality art the school is trying to promote. As its namesake indicates, the National 2-D Competition Exhibition was open to artists around the country and this year they saw 550 submissions from 27 states. Previous winner Chris Valle judged this year's submissions, settling on 30 distinguished artworks, and the results are enthralling. There are a variety of techniques and subject matter on display, and they all represent an engaging cross-section of work.

As Perez also points out, the next show at Armstrong's gallery will be made up entirely of student work. She says they're finalizing the results of the 2017 Student Art Exhibition, which opens Jan. 30, and it should prove to be an ideal platform to show off the talent at Armstrong. That exhibition features 11 categories of student work, including painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, fabric design, graphic design, film photography, digital photography, mixed media, printmaking and jewelry design.

Between the current exhibition and the upcoming student show, the general public has ample opportunity to see what Armstrong is up to creatively. It's sure to be a pleasant surprise.


What: Sixth annual Armstrong National 2-D Competition Exhibition

When: Through Jan. 20; reception at 12:15 p.m. Jan. 18

Where: Armstrong State University's Fine Arts Gallery, 11935 Abercorn St.

Cost: Free