Annual Juried Exhibition 19: FCG Feature Award Winner



Sam Wagter

August 14 - 28, 2021


The Annual Juried Exhibition (AJE) is one of the most highly anticipated undergraduate exhibitions in the Department of Visual Arts at Western University. This diverse exhibition supports the production of new artwork made in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, digital media, photography, installation, sound, and performance. For many years, Forest City Gallery has supported the AJE through the contribution of the FCG Feature Award. The FCG Feature offers a presentation opportunity to one student each year, selected by a professional jury. The AJE 19, which took place in March 2021, awarded 4th year Visual Arts student Sam Wagter with this year's FCG Feature Award.



Artist Statement: As a young woman, I grew up in a society where beauty and appearance is held to an impossible standard, and I have always looked at the human form as something which is held too highly in importance. With social media and digital technologies now allowing for anyone to alter their true appearance into their “ideal self”, I have struggled to identify with those around me, as well as my own physical body. Both Shades of Blue and Smush are video works that combat and question the judgmental and unbalanced view that women and femme presenting individuals all face regarding their appearance. The expectations laid upon us are restrictive and demanding, and often impossible to achieve. The aim of these two bodies of works is to draw attention to the un-beautiful and the reversal of the patriarchal “beauty” instilled into our society throughout history. Drawing inspiration from the gestures of painting and performance, these works confront the viewer and offer discomfort, impelling them to challenge their own definitions of beauty and the ways in which they view women and femme presenting individuals.


Born in London Ontario, Sam Wagter graduated with a BFA from Western University and will be continuing her studies in Western’s MFA program this September. Gaining inspiration through the physicality of artmaking, her struggles with confidence, and the pressures of fitting into society's beauty standards for women, Sam’s art practice aims to challenge external beauty and to offer a new understanding of the body.


You can find more information on the AJE here.