Published on April 12, 2023 by Ashley Smith  
Juried Show Winner Speights

Samford’s School of the Arts Annual Juried Student Exhibition concluded with a reception and awards event April 6 to present art and design awards, endowed scholarships and announce the winners of the juried show. Hosted by Lauren Frances Evans, assistant professor of art and gallery coordinator, the event was attended by students, faculty, parents and friends of the arts. The show was sponsored by Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman.

This year’s exhibition included 91 pieces that were selected from over 150 entries by guest juror Celeste Pfau. The show featured work from graphic design, game design and 3D animation, interior design, architecture and studio art students. “I was astounded by how well the wide ranging and eclectic mix of artwork came together to make such a lovely and cohesive exhibition!” said Evans.

Pfau is a fine artist based in Birmingham, Alabama who gathers inspiration from natural spaces. Her botanical monoprints involve the careful arrangement of ethically harvested plant matter and oil-based inks. Each print, visual or wearable, is created on a manually operated etching press.

Show winners were chosen by Pfau who was impressed by the “layers of creativity” throughout the student work.  Best in Show went to graphic design major Ethan Speights for his work People I Trust to Cut My HairFrancie Weissend took second place for her entry A Warm Embrace.  Katy Thomas was awarded third place for Press On.  Merit awards were given to students in each area of study: Studio Art: Madeline Schaeffer - Emotional BaggageGraphic Design: Sarah Gentry - As I Lay Dying; Game Design: Jonathan Dunning - Eerie Space Station; Interior Design and Architecture: Madeline Shebs - Little Smiles Dentistry.

Natalie Myers won the Dean’s Award for her submission River Bodies which was selected by Larry Thompson, interim dean of the School of the Arts

Professor and chair of the Department of Art & Design Scott Fisk announced the art scholarships and academic awards. Sarah Gentry received the Lowell Vann Endowed Scholarship. Natalie Myers received the Trevlyn Grace Campbell Memorial Scholarship in Studio Art. Cole Armistead received the Heitzke Graphic Design Scholarship in honor of Sarah and Eschol Taylor. Cassidy King received the Mary Ann Culotta Scholarship. Dora Baca received the Barrington-Nichols-Thompson Scholarship for students wanting to study abroad.  Jonathan Dunning was the recipient of the Theresa Wildmon Award. The Design for Good Scholarship went to Katy Thomas and Addie Pace.

Aaron Brakke, assistant professor in the Department of Architecture and Interior Design presented the following scholarships to interior and architecture students. Ainsley Bangs received the Michael J. Hubbs Memorial Interior Design Award. Carter Grice was the recipient of the Pederson Architecture Scholarship. The Friends of Architecture & Interior Design Award went to Sarah Hudson.

The Art Gallery will host one final show for the 22-23 academic year featuring work by graduating studio art seniors April 13-29 with a closing reception after graduation. 

“We hosted a really diverse mix of exhibitions this year and had the opportunity to partner and collaborate with a number of local organizations for our various programming. Grants from the Alabama State Council of the Arts have helped greatly to make this possible. I am looking forward to doing even more of these partnerships in the season ahead!” said Evans. This will be the second year in a row that Samford has hosted a show over the summer. Last summer, the Samford partnered with a local printmaking studio, Paper Workers Local, and currently Evans is working to put together a dynamic exhibition in partnership with Studio By The Tracks, an art studio that supports and represents a diverse roster of adult artists on the autism spectrum. This exhibit, More-Than-Human World will run July 13 September 28, 2023 in the Art Gallery which is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and located in 153 Swearingen Hall.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.