Stilwell competition, exhibit features creative achievements

Stilwell competition, exhibit features creative achievements
For the past 20 years, The University of South Dakota has honored the creative achievements of its art students in the annual Stilwell Competition and Exhibition.

This year's exhibition will be on display in the main galleries of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts in Vermillion from Feb.10 to March 2. The show opens with a special awards ceremony from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb.10.�The public is invited to attend the event which features music, food, and outstanding art.

The annual Stilwell Award Exhibition is intended to recognize outstanding student artists and to share the art school experience with the public, in addition to offering art students a valuable professional experience. Traditionally, the Stilwell Competition attracts over 200 entries from students at all levels of the art program from freshmen through graduate students in a wide variety of artistic areas. The resulting show typically presents about 70 works selected by the juror on the basis of their artistic quality and creativity.

The juror for this year's competition is Mark Masuoka, executive director of the Bemas Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE. Masuoka, who has been with the Bemas Center since 2003, holds a master of fine arts degree in ceramic sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

in Bloomfield Hills, MI.�

According to John A. Day, director of the University Art Galleries, one of the attractions of the Stilwell Exhibition is that students compete for a significant number of cash awards and purchase prizes.�Day helped establish the competition to recognize the contributions of long-time art department chairman, Wilber Stilwell, and his wife Gladys.

"It was particularly satisfying to combine tangible rewards for current art students with the legacy of the Stilwell family at USD," Day said."

Day notes that the Stilwell Exhibition enjoys excellent support from USD in the form of awards from the president, provost and dean of the College of Fine Arts.����������

Cory Knedler, chair of the USD Department of Art, emphasizes the importance of the Stilwell, saying that it offers the students and faculty a showcase for their efforts.

"The Stilwell offers art students a chance to acquire experience with competitive shows in a learning environment," he said. "We hope they will learn to deal with both success and failure in a positive way."

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