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Stilwell Student Exhibition to Showcase Student Art

A view of the College of Fine Arts building from the front. A red sculpture welcomes students into the building. The 35th annual Stilwell Student Awards Exhibition is open Jan. 22 - Feb. 19. A reception and awards ceremony is scheduled for Jan. 22.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota College of Fine Arts hosts the opening reception for the 35th annual Stilwell Student Awards Exhibition Friday, Jan 22, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. in the John A. Day Gallery of the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts. The awards ceremony begins at 6 p.m.

The annual juried student art show recognizes artistic talent and creative work from USD’s College of Fine Arts students.

The juror for this year's exhibition is Cody Henrichs, artist and curator of the Washington Pavilion Visual Arts Center. Henrichs is also the founder/director of Coffey Contemporary Arts Gallery in Luverne, Minnesota.

“We have some of the most talented student artists state-wide in our program,” Amy Fill, gallery director, explained. “The variety of creative expression, as well as the uniqueness each student demonstrates in their work, will, without a doubt, present an exciting challenge for Henrichs.”

Each year over 75 students enter more than 200 individual works for the adjudication process. This is a competitive exhibition with over $2,000 in prizes to be awarded.

Awards will include the Best of Show, Faculty Award, President, Provost and Dean of Students Purchase Awards, The College of Fine Arts Dean’s Award, Carol and Tom Geu Award and the Gladys Stilwell Freshman/Sophomore Award.

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 35th annual Stilwell Student Awards Exhibition will be open January 22 through February 19.

The John A. Day Gallery in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts is open to the public, free of charge, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information about this exhibition, please contact Amy Fill at


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