USD Art Galleries presents student awards exhibition

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University Art Galleries at The University of South Dakota presents the 21st annual Stilwell Student Awards Exhibition. The show begins Friday, Feb. 15 and runs through Sunday, March 9 in the Main Gallery of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts. A gala reception and awards ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 15 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the public is invited to attend free of charge.

The Stilwell Competition recognizes art work created by USD students. A juried competition, the show celebrates the variety and quality of work being produced annually in USD Art classes, showcasing the department’s broad range of offerings. This year’s Stilwell juror is Douglas Russell, professor of art at the University of Wyoming, who will also serve as an artist-in-residence at The U conducting drawing workshops and providing critiques of student work during his visit.

Dedicated to the memory of Professor Wilber Stilwell, who served on the art faculty at USD from 1941 to 1972, the Stilwell Competition is an event that attracts more than 300 entries from art majors, according to Cory Knedler, chair of the USD Art Department. Knedler says the competition gives students an opportunity to test their skills, receive critical feedback, and win prizes and awards. The art department faculty encourages students to enter the competitionto gain professional experience as well as to represent their studio areas. In 1989, USD and the Stilwell family combined to establish the endowment that continues to support the awards competition – a tribute not only to Wilber and Gladys Stilwell but to the long tradition of the visual arts at The University of South Dakota.

For more information about this exhibition, please contact John A. Day, director of The University of South Dakota Art Galleries, at (605) 677-3177 or jday@usd.edu. The Main Gallery in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts is open to the public free of charge from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and from 1 to 5 p.m. on weekends. Tours and special showings during non-public hours are available upon request.