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USD Hosts 31st Annual Stilwell Exhibition Jan. 26 - Feb. 23

Photo of Stilwell juror Bryan Holland. Bryan Holland, this year's Stilwell Juror, examines entries in the USD's John A. Day Gallery.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota College of Fine Arts hosts the opening reception for the 31st annual Stilwell Student Juried Exhibition this Friday, Jan 26, from 6-8 p.m. in the John A. Day Gallery in the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts.

“Our students take the Stilwell Exhibition very seriously and most will enter the competition which usually means approximately 200 entries,” said Cory Knedler, chair of USD’s Department of Art.

Those that enter have the chance to win prizes up to $500 for Best in Show, but Knedler said the real motivation is the chance to exhibit their work through a professionally juried show.

“The cash awards are an attraction, but the art students are really anxious to test their work in a juried show and learn from the lesson,” said Knedler.

This year’s Stilwell Juror, Bryan Holland, an acclaimed multimedia artist from Minnesota, graduated from USD in 1997 with a master’s degree in painting. In addition to judging the exhibition, Holland presented a guest lecture earlier in the week. His advice to new artists is to keep moving forward.

“Try to do something art related every single day,” said Holland. “Don’t worry about making mistakes. Don’t second guess yourself.”

Holland has worked professionally as an artist, graphic artist, and college professor. His work has been in numerous exhibitions, from solo to regional and national juried and invitational exhibitions. Holland’s most recent work is a mix of painting, collage, found art, image transfer techniques, and a variety of other experimentation. He is influenced by graphic design, vintage art, painting, photography, mythology, science and philosophy.

The Stilwell celebrates and recognizes the diversity and quality of art created by USD students in the previous year through a peer-juried exhibition. Student work includes graphic design, photography, ceramics, sculpture, painting, printmaking and more. The exhibition will close Feb. 23.


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