The Missouri State Art + Design Department is excited to announce the award winners of the First Annual Juried Student Exhibition. Fifteen awards were presented to standout pieces from the featured artworks in the exhibition. Juror Christie Snelson, Springfield Regional Arts Council External Exhibitions Manager and First Friday Art Walk Coordinator, says of her selection decisions,
It was my honor to jury and select the award winners for this first annual student exhibition at my alma mater. I thoroughly enjoyed viewing the vast talent coming from the art programming that evidently continues to serve students well. I sought to show the best of the breadth and depth of the Missouri State Art Department and also considered how the works would be presented as a whole. While a difficult task to make these selections, I gravitated toward artworks that were thoughtfully communicated, and to those that demonstrated apparent creativity, skill, and dedication.
My Best of Show selection, “Our Tears” by Rick Briggenhorst in collaboration with Shauna Smith, showcases inventiveness all while evoking sentiments that many people over the last couple of years share, making it also incredibly topical in context of our time. Art that is capable of making us feel is the most powerful kind.
The number of works that display remarkable technique and craftsmanship, strong compositions, and creative approaches is also truly impressive. Keeping in mind many of the pieces were assignments, they still uphold as stimulating and imaginative works outside the context of the classroom.
I am sincerely excited for these artworks to have an opportunity to be shown off to the public in this exhibition. I would like to congratulate all the students for their hard work and for their courage to submit. They should be proud of what they have created, and I hope they are encouraged to keep striving to that next level within their art.
An especially meaningful aspect of this exhibition is the introduction of the Mark J. Hall Best in Show award. As the top prize from this group of awards, Best in Show honors the life and legacy of artist and former Missouri State Art + Design student Mark J. Hall. “It’s thrilling to recognize a true hero of the arts this year,” says Vonda Yarberry, Art + Design Department Head. Mark’s passion, dedication, and activism helped establish a fund to obtain and support an exhibition space for students in 1984. His efforts have provided opportunities for thousands of students to share their work, an impact that continues today through the Carolla Arts Exhibition Center and Brick City Galleries. Mark lost his life in a tragic car accident on July 17, 2005. Despite this terrible loss, Mark’s memory endures within the gallery spaces and the new tradition of sharing his story each year as the Mark J. Hall Best in Show Award is presented at the Annual Juried Student Exhibition. “It’s because of Mark’s efforts that renovations of this new exhibition space could be realized, which not only present student work but enliven the Springfield arts community into the future. My only wish is that he could be here to give the award himself,” Vonda adds.
Juried Award Winners
Mark J. Hall Best in Show: Rick Briggenhorst & Shauna Smith – Our Tears
Best Grad: Rick Briggenhorst & Shauna Smith – Our Tears
Best Undergrad: Joni R. Neal – Self Portrait
Best Freshman: Elisa Peters – Conversation with Maddie
Best 3D: Joe Duggar – My Pet Rock
Best Painting: Mara Cressey – Reminiscing in Dead Dreams
Best Drawing: Joni R. Neal – Self Portrait
Best Photography: Erin Hillery – Avant Gardener
Best Metals & Jewelry: Max Koeppe – Button
Best Animation: Aaron Bell – Street Kitchen
Best New Media: Rick Briggenhorst – Touch Grass (Together)
Best from Illustration: Emi Juchems – Self Portrait
Best from Graphic Design: Melissa Hendrickson – Golden Child
Best from Art Education: Julia McKlin – Hidden Messages
Best from Art History/Museum Studies: Hanna Henroid – Cabo
Carolla Arts Exhibition Center is located at 326 N. Boonville Ave, Springfield, Missouri. Gallery hours are Monday–Friday 11 AM–6 PM and Saturday 12 PM–4 PM. Call 417-837-2330 for additional details. Please wear a mask and practice safe distancing when visiting the gallery.
Taylor Ladd is a graduate assistant for the Department of Art + Design. She is working towards her master’s degree in writing at Missouri State University with professional interests in writing about art, culture, and food.