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The Laband Art Gallery’s Annual Juried Student Exhibition is open to all students who have taken a Studio Arts class during the past school year. The Laband encourages students to submit their best work in any media of their choosing including drawing, printmaking, photography, painting, graphic design, sculpture, and multimedia. We invite two professionals who are active in Los Angeles’s art world to serve as co-jurors. Now in its 37th year, this exhibition serves as an excellent first professional experience for student artists and celebrates their flourishing creativity. 


MiaBella Chavez

Jurors' First Prize

Jurors welcome


As LMU alumni, we are honored to serve as co-jurors for the 37th Annual Juried Student Exhibition, Young Contemporaries 2021. Our reunion is serendipitous: in 2007, we both exhibited and received honors at that year’s student art exhibition, and in 2013, we co-curated Post Post at the Thomas P. Kelly, Jr. Student Art Gallery. To return for this occasion, and at this particular moment, grants us the privileged opportunity to celebrate creativity as a vital act, especially in darker, difficult times.

Throughout a pandemic, shelter-in-place orders, racial uprisings and a presidential election, this past year brought with it unimaginable hardships that impacted us all. This moment—individually, societally, and globally—also provided a unique vantage point with which to glimpse into the human psyche and experience a range of emotions: melancholy, anxiety, mourning, communion, and hope. As jurors, we were floored by the creativity and vision across the 119 artwork entries. We applaud every single submission, which resulted from a swift and unexpected transition into online learning and creating a studio practice within the constraints of home. These 46 selected works that make up this exhibition exemplify a compelling mindfulness to our moment as well as a considered approach to execution across a wealth of media. We proudly present Young Contemporaries 2021.

Erik Benjamins '08 & Nathalie Sánchez '07


Rebecca Simor

Jurors' Second Prize



Ivanna Alcantara 

Olivia Baer 

Ryan Balding 

Kaelyn Belloni 

José Miguel Camacho

Joseph Capestany 

Kailey Castro 

MiaBella Chavez

Morgan Cochrane

Lailani Davis

Madison Davis 

Danica DeForest 

Isabella Dropsy 

Sohrob Fatoorechie 

Liam FitzGerald 

Nicole Han

Emma Hathaway

Kai Henthorn-Iwane

Vincent Kelly 

Brittany Lee 

Owen Markham 

Jerahmel Mendoza 

Lauren Mitzelfelt 

Sydnei Pitts

Austin Randall 

Louise Royer 

Arden Sanchez 

Rebecca Simor 

Ava Suhy 

Mei Vilanova 

Karen Wang 

Yilin Wang 

Abbey Wineglass


Jurors' First Prize

Jurors' Second Prize

Jurors' Third Prize

Jurors' Honorable Mention

Jurors' Honorable Mention

Jurors' Honorable Mention

Director's Award

Grace K. Swanson Award for Painting

MiaBella Chavez, Glitch

Rebecca Simor, Chair Piece After Yoko Ono

Louise Royer, Interactive 3D World

Lauren Mitzelfelt, Steven's Daughter

Kaelyn Belloni, Artist Book: Birth Month Flowers

Joseph Capestany, Heads Up

Danica DeForest, There is No Planet B

José Miguel Camacho, Me

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Louise Royer

Jurors' Third Prize

Student Work



Danica DeForest

Director's Award

Jurors's Statement


Erik Benjamins '08

Erik is a multidisciplinary artist and writer who celebrates the possibilities for embodied knowledge. Recent projects have brought him to Chengdu, China; the Banff Centre, Canada; Spring Workshop, Hong Kong; the Jan Van Eyck Academie, the Netherlands; and the Santa Fe Art Institute, New Mexico. Most recently, he has exhibited at Foreland in Catskill, New York; the Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine; and River and Marta, both in Los Angeles. Erik is a proud alum (’08) of LMU where he double majored in Communication Studies and Studio Arts. He received his MFA in Studio Art with a focus on Performance at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston / Tufts University in 2012. From 2013-2015, he served as an LMU Clinical Assistant Professor in Communication Studies and Studio Arts. 

Nathalie Sanchez Portrait.jpg

Nathalie Sánchez '07

Nathalie is an interdisciplinary artist, social justice arts educator, museum worker and arts advocate raised and rooted in Los Angeles. Nathalie firmly believes in the transformative power of arts education and community. She has developed and led visual arts education, museum education, and professional development programs at ArtworxLA; Avenue 50 Studio; ESMoA; Fowler Museum at UCLA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA); and P.S. ARTS. Currently, she is the Interim Education Program Coordinator at the Vincent Price Art Museum. In 2016, she founded the Art Education + Social Justice Book Club with over 300 members internationally. She graduated from LMU in 2007 with her BA in Art History and Studio Arts with an emphasis in education, and received her MFA in Public Practice from Otis College of Art and Design in 2010.


José Miguel Camacho

Grace K. Swanson Award for Painting



The Laband Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges our supporters and collaborators! 

The Friedman Family in memory of Andrea Kingaard Friedman ‘66

Erik Benjamins and Nathalie Sánchez, Jurors, Young Contemporaries 2021 

All members of the Studio Arts Faculty 

All staff of CFA Dean’s Office 

Grace K. Swanson 

We appreciate the wonderful artwork and descriptive texts submitted by LMU students! 

Graphic Design: José Miguel Camacho ‘22, Studio Arts, graphic design emphasis 

Web & Digital Production: Mathew Martini ‘21, Studio Arts, multimedia emphasis 

All artwork appears courtesy of the artists ©

Inquiries about purchasing artworks can be sent to

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