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33rd Annual Stilwell Student Awards Exhibit to Display Artwork from USD's Fine Arts Students

The 33rd annual Stilwell Student Awards Exhibition The 33rd annual Stilwell Student Awards Exhibition takes place Jan. 25 - Feb. 22 at the John A. Day Gallery.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The 33rd annual Stilwell Student Awards Exhibition is set for Jan. 25 - Feb. 22 at the John A. Day Gallery, in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts on USD’s campus.

The annual juried student art show recognizes artistic talent and creative work from USD’s College of Fine Arts students. This year’s juror is Henry Payer. Payer taught at the Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute in 2015 at USD. He has been awarded Best of Show at the annual Northern Plains Indian Art Market in 2014 and 2011 and Best of Division: Two Dimensional at the 2016 Fourth Annual Native POP: People of the Plains.

A reception and awards ceremony is scheduled for Jan. 25 from 6-8 p.m. Winners in several art categories will be announced, including the Best of Show, Faculty Award, Art Department Chair’s Award, Gallery Director’s Award, College of Fine Arts Dean’s Award and the Gladys Stilwell Freshman/Sophomore Award. The ceremony is open to the public and free of charge.

“We have some of the most talented artists state-wide in our program” Amy Fill, interim gallery director, explained. “The variety of creative expression, as well as the uniqueness each student demonstrates in his or her work, will, without a doubt, present an exciting challenge for Mr. Montileaux when selecting our award recipients.”

The exhibit is named after USD’s former chair and professor of art Wilber Stilwell, his wife, Gladys and the Stilwell family, who continue to provide support for the exhibition. Stilwell joined the USD faculty immediately after receiving his master’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1941 and served as a member of the art faculty at USD for 32 years and as department chair for 26 years.

The John A. Day Gallery in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts is open to the public, free of charge, from 8 a.m. -5 p.m. weekdays and from 1-5 p.m. on weekends. For more information about this exhibition, please contact Amy Fill at


The University Art Galleries educate the university and community through rotating contemporary and historical art exhibitions, artist lectures, research programs and campus events. The exhibitions focus primarily on American and Northern Plains Tribal art and highlight the cultural characteristics of the region. The University Art Galleries is responsible for developing and maintaining the permanent art collection of the University of South Dakota, which currently numbers over 1,600 pieces emphasizing South Dakota artists, contemporary art and Northern Plains Tribal art. The permanent art collection includes the largest single collection of works by Oscar Howe, the internationally noted Native American artist and former USD faculty member.


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