The biennial statewide art competition was initiated in 2002 under the endorsement of Gov. Mike Rounds as a means to recognize and encourage South Dakota artists, to promote the state’s unique artistic identity, and to celebrate its rich cultural heritage and endless creative potential. In his introduction to the exhibition catalogue, Rounds encourages South Dakota citizens to view “Endless Imagination” at one of its five exhibition venues and to share in the celebration of our artists’ professionalism, imagination and talent. The project is co-sponsored by five South Dakota Arts institutions and the South Dakota Arts Council with funding from the State of South Dakota through the Department of Tourism and State Development and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Five hundred entries from 142 artists were submitted for the exhibition competition. A team of jurors selected the 54 pieces that will be on display at USD. The jurors for the competition were Mary Maxon, curator of art at the Dahl Art Center in Rapid City, S.D.; John Day, director of University Art Galleries at USD; and John Rychtarik, curator at the South Dakota Art Museum.

The Main Gallery in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts is open free of charge to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and from 1 to 5 p.m. on weekends. Tours and special showings during non-public hours are available upon request. A public reception for the exhibit is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information about this exhibition, please contact Day at (605) 677-3177 or e-mail

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