USD Student Art on Display at 29th Stilwell Exhibition

Image Stilwell Exhibition "Feminine Attempt #1" oil on canvas painting by Klaire Pearson, Stilwell 2015 Best in Show

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The 29th Annual Stilwell Exhibition featuring 70 pieces of artwork created by USD students opened Friday in the John A. Day Gallery at the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts and will be on display until Feb. 23. This year's juror is Larry Schuh, a 1977 graduate of the University of South Dakota and currently an associate professor of studio art and printmaking at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he specializes his work in printmaking.

“The pieces vary to show the variety of diverse programs and levels of our students, so there intermediate, upper-level undergraduate and graduate students featured,” said Michelle St.Vrain, interim director of the University Art Galleries. “The pieces on display include printmaking, photography, mixed media, ceramics, painting, drawings and installations.”

The 2015 Best in Show, “Feminine Attempt #1,” an oil on canvas painting by Klaire Pearson, and other artwork created by USD students will be on display at the exhibition and available to the public for purchase. “This is our most popular exhibition so we anticipate a great amount of traffic," St. Vrain said.

The display is named after Wilber Stilwell, former chair and professor, his wife Gladys and their family who all still support the exhibit. Stilwell came to USD after obtaining his master’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1941. During his time at USD he was a faculty member of the Department of Art for 32 years and department chair for 26 years.

While attending USD, Schuh received his bachelor of fine arts degree and then obtained his master of fine arts degree from Indiana University. He will speak on his artwork in the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts in room 172 at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27.

The John A. Day Gallery at the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts is free of charge to the public and will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News