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Art Students Praised Online for Their Work

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Three USD art students were recently featured in articles highlighting their work. Two students’ art was displayed in the “I AM” exhibition in Minneapolis, and another student’s series was praised in Lenscratch, Fine Art Photography Daily.

Aaron Packard, USD graduate student, created a wet plate series of the Black Hills in South Dakota. He has been working as a photographer since 2002 and is now working for local and national clients. The author of the interview in Lenscratch noted Packard’s skill and beautiful results. Read the interview with Aaron Packard.

Altered Aesthetics, an arts advocacy organization in Minneapolis, wrote two articles featuring interviews with undergraduate art students Rayna Hernandez and Tramika LaBranche, both featured in the “I AM” exhibition in Minnesota.

Rayna Hernandez created a self portrait exploring what it means to her to be a multicultural person. Her work reflected her Lakota and American cultural background and helped her think more about idea of identity. Read the article about Rayna Hernandez.

Tramika LaBranche, who’s black, also created a self portrait to engage people in a conversation of culture and race. LaBranche aims to focus on the future of race, rather than what has happened in the past. Her self portrait looks specifically at how people of color are portrayed in the art world. Read the article about Tramika LaBranche.


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 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson 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 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News