Thanks to the 2010 Badin Art Show, artwork currently adorns the walls of Badin Hall’s large social space, transforming the room into a gallery full of expression, beauty, and inspiration.  Music and conversation resonate throughout the gallery, creating a relaxing atmosphere for appreciating artwork.  Small groups of admirers cluster in the background, enjoying hors-d’oeuvres while slowly making their way around the room.

The art show, as coordinator Kristina Hamilton comments “isn’t being held to raise money.” Instead, Badin Hall’s signature event requires no fee for entry and invites everyone to participate.  Various artists from the Notre Dame and St. Mary’s campuses have contributed their artwork, resulting in an extensive variety of art that includes varying mediums, forms, and themes.

Badin’s academic commission coordinates the art show as well as their other signature event.  Kristina Hamilton, co-chair of the academic commission, commented on the event’s significance.

“It encourages students, whether they are art majors or not, to express themselves creatively and to share that with Badin and the rest of the Notre Dame campus,” she said.

A panel of judges including Badin’s Fellow, Ann-Marie Conrado, present first, second, and third place awards to the most outstanding submissions.  This year, the judges presented awards to two paintings and a photograph.

Eileen Laskowski’s THE GREEN DOG, awarded first place, plays with texture and dimension.  Her painting, which appears somewhat simple at first sight, depicts the profile of a young man.  Clad in neutral apparel, the young man appears drab at first. Upon closer look, however, small details, including an actual zipper, reach out of the painting. Laskowski’s piece successfully interacts with the eye, adding another dimension to what originally seems commonplace.

Ashley Ryan’s THE OILY TRUTH, which was awarded second place, comments on the Gulf Horizon oil spill and its environmental effects.  Featuring a pelican disrupted by splattered oil, Ryan’s painting asserts the social responsibility of BP and other corporations involved. Ryan’s piece, which is part of a series composing her final project, is certainly both controversial and relevant, focusing on the repercussions that result from social negligence.

Ryan’s work proved to be quite popular, as onlooker Courtney Cox commented: “My favorite piece was THE OILY TRUTH because it was a great stand-alone piece, but knowing it was part of a series made it more intriguing.”

Finally, the judges awarded third place to a photograph taken by Kevin Casey.  Casey’s photograph, taken from a distant, elevated vantage point, displays a small building resting on the edge of a steep cliff.  The structure, resembling a chapel or house, overlooks a treacherous valley.

The photo, taken in black-and-white, conveys isolation, forcing the onlooker to question the purpose of such seclusion and distance.  The greater question, however, is how Casey was able to reach the place that gave him such an advantageous view.

The submissions will remain in Badin until November 19, and students are welcome to stop by, examine, and appreciate the creativity and inspiration of their fellow colleagues.  

Helena Birdsell keeps it real. Contact her at