Lupita Murillo-Tinnen, Juror


Hello, my name is Lupita Murillo Tinnen and I want to congratulate all the artists that are included in this year’s League for Innovation Student Art Exhibition. 

First, I’d like to thank Alison Starr and Dallas College for inviting me to serve as this year’s juror. 

It was truly an honor for me to serve as juror because I got to see such amazing talent. 

Let me share a little information about myself. 

I am currently the Academic Affairs and Workforce Dean for Fine Arts, Child Development, and Education at the Collin College Plano Campus. Prior to my current position I served as an associate dean and before that I was a Professor of Photography for 15 years. 

During this time, I evaluated thousands of student pieces and I have served as a juror for several competitions. I am also a practicing artist and continue to exhibit my own photographs.

Judging this year’s League for Innovation was a real pleasure and I am honored to have been selected as a judge for the competition.

I want to start by describing my process for evaluating the 62 pieces that are included. 

I first did a quick run through by viewing each piece without reading any artist statements since I didn’t want to be led by what was being said about the art. 

I wanted to see what stood out to me from a pure aesthetic point of view. 

Sometime later, I opened the file up again, but this time read carefully through each of the statements as I viewed the work. 

The third time I went through the work, I started to take notes on the pieces that I felt particularly stood out. 

I narrowed this list and focused on selecting the finalists. I tend to gravitate toward work that is personal in nature, that makes an emotional connection for the artist but also for me as the viewer. 

Artwork that is experimental and pushes the medium to new heights also stood out to me. 

If your work was not selected as a finalist, please do not be discouraged. 

Every piece in the exhibition is worthy of being recognized. 

As you continue to pursue your voice through art, there will be many exhibitions, competitions, and opportunities to share your work with others. 

Sharing is what artists do, and I encourage you to do so with authenticity and enthusiasm. 

The first piece that I want to acknowledge is Joshua Parker’s monoprint “Who’s A Good Boy?” There is a sense of innocence and honesty that speaks to me when I view this image. The artist experimented with the media and created a point of view that is interesting. The use of value and texture from the process make the results spectacular. 

The next piece is Virginia Robertson’s “Uncharted Waters.” This is a piece that used mixed media to experiment with materials to create a visually stunning piece. The artist has created an intriguing sense of space. The visual detail gives the viewer much to explore. 

In ceramics, Vasfiie Adburafyeyeva’s “Lale” was created from traditions in her Crimean culture. The piece itself is visually appealing with the repetition in the design, but its symbolism carried it further. As the artist stated, it has a sense of magic in the object, and it seemed apparent to me.

Kathleen Newbrand’s charcoal drawing “Surfaces” is so technically sound. The detail that was captured in the glass and the varying tones makes this piece excellent. She fully utilized the medium’s potential of value range. 

In photography, which is my main medium, I selected “Denise Hohulin’s “Wisdom.” This digital photograph captured my attention with its sense of movement and blending of warm and cool colors. 

The destruction and beauty are both alluring and contradictory at the same time. There were a few other pieces that I selected for honorable mentions. 

Anikó Juhász’s “Highland’s Unknown” reminded me of my favorite artist Frida Kahlo. I loved the deer antlers and the surrealism. It was more than just a self-portrait. The artist pushed the self-portrait adding color and that little something that gives the viewer more substance and feeling.

Gabriella Sifuentes’ “Germy” really shows the artist exploring materials and learning how to move from a simple contour study into a piece that gives dimension. 

Lastly, an honorable mention goes to Jennifer Pickett's “Kansas from the Road.” The artist took a simple landscape that is ordinary and turned it into an extraordinary piece by experimenting with the media and pushing it and herself into new territory. The result is an appealing visual art piece that I stopped to admire. 

I want to applaud all who participated for your willingness to submit your work for scrutiny. 

It is not an easy thing to do, and I appreciate that you shared it with me. 

Congratulations to the finalists. 

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as the juror.