Recent art grad wins Best of Show in the 2020 SECCA Student Showcase
calendar icon01 Sep 2020
Lincoln, Neb.--Christie Asuoha, who received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln School of Art, Art History & Design in August 2020, won Best of Show in the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) Student Showcase 2020.
The virtual exhibition of artworks by high school and college students in art and design fields is viewable online at https://www.seccashowcase.org. SECCA is an affiliate of the North Carolina Museum of Art.
“I was very surprised and elated to receive the news that I won the Best of Show award in the SECCA student showcase,” Asuoha said. “I could barely contain my excitement when I received the news over the phone. I was flattered to hear from the news-bearer that the jurors really liked my work. I think I was most surprised by the honor because the work submitted by the other student contestants were also very good and very diverse, in terms of themes, styles and subject matter.”
Born in Aba, Nigeria, Asuoha’s family immigrated to the U.S. in 1999. She grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and moved to Lincoln during her sophomore year of high school.
Associate Professor of Art Santiago Cal said Asuoha developed a unique body of work in the past two years that explored the dichotomous relationship between her ethnic background (Nigerian) and contemporary African American culture.
“For her capstone project, Christie intended to create a series of resin cast sculptures,” Cal said. “But the university suddenly went remote in the spring. She quickly adapted and spent her time creating digital collages representing her ideas. The fantastic results were presented in the School of Art, Art History & Design’s online capstone exhibition and submitted to the SECCA 2020 juried student showcase, where she won Best of Show. She is a talented artist with a bright future. Her successes are sure to follow.”
Asuoha said she turned to digital collage as a way of depicting what the sculptures might have looked like.
“’The Heads of Asuoha’ was originally an idea for a series of sculptures depicting my family members in the likeness of the famous Heads of Ife, which are a series of sculptural portraits of Nigerian royalty,” she said. “The collages feature prints and accessories that reference the ways in which each person in my family has assimilated into American culture. The intent was to show how in my family, and in many other immigrant families, each person is unique in how they reflect their cultural duality and balance the culture from back home with the dominant culture of their new country.”
In the summer of 2017, she studied abroad in Florence, Italy, through the School of Art, Art History & Design. In 2019, her sculpture “The Prodigal Son” was accepted into the 33rd Annual Juried Exhibition in the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery. The same sculpture won first prize in Sheldon Museum’s The Convo Project, a juried student competition calling for sculptures inspired by the color black.
Following her graduation in August, Asuoha plans to take a hiatus before making plans to attend graduate school.
“During this hiatus, I plan to work, create, travel and just learn more about myself,” she said.