User Rating: 0 (0 votes)

It was funny. It was thought provoking. It was quirky and out-of-the-box. And, yeah, you missed it.


The “it” in question is “fail!,” an art show by VCU students featuring works they consider failures, paired with their sometimes hilarious commentary. The one-day show opened and closed on Friday, April 5, at 1509 West Main Street, the graphic design department’s gallery space. It was there that the students stepped away from being bright-eyed and hopeful and, for a night, stared failure down.

Carson Jones low rez

An unfortunate face was just the beginning of Carson Jones’ problems in his acrylic painting..

Carson Jones was one of the exhibitors. He submitted a painting he called “a big, gaudy mess” created in “one of those rare moments where I convinced myself, briefly, I could paint well enough to pull this off and I had a lot of time and cheap paint.” The pièce de résistance? “A face so embarrassing I painted a gas mask over it to hide it.”






Alyssa Kurien

Alyssa Kurienâ’s friend gave her some tough love over this drawing.

Alyssa Kurien lent the show a charcoal drawing she made of a friend. (We can only hope the relationship survived.) 80s hair? Check! Scary, oversized hands? Check! Maniacal facial expression? Check! “My friend told me it looked more like a scene from a horror film than an actual portrait,” wrote Alyssa.








Mikayla Baumgartner low rez

Love hurts. Nobody knows that better than Mikayla Baumgartner and the U.S. Postal Service.

Mikayla Baumgartner submitted a Valentine’s Day painting she did for her ex after a bad breakup. He promptly mailed it back to her. “That was definitely a failure,” she wrote. “It’s just sitting in my room and I’d rather not throw it away.”








Students in Allison Andrews’ exhibition design class conceived the show and invited students in arts-related majors to participate. In the end, their submissions addressed failed artistic execution and failed love, yes, but also broader definitions of failure such as societal ones (addiction, for instance) and lapses in critical thinking among the public (the very existence of the “Harlem Shake”). “People were really enthusiastic about the show,” Andrews said. “Everybody can relate to the subject matter.”


So, yeah, it was pretty great. But you didn’t know about it because SIFTER hadn’t yet arrived. From now on, you will because we have. Promise.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Please prove you are human: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.