Published on April 30, 2021 by Ashley Smith  
Elayna Navas

Samford’s School of the Arts Annual Juried Student Exhibition concluded with a virtual awards event April 29 to present division awards, endowed scholarships and announce the winners of the Annual Juried Student Exhibition. Hosted by Stephen Watson, associate professor of art, the event was attended by students, faculty and friends of the arts. John and Marsha Floyd sponsored the Art and Design Series for the third year in a row and were on hand to congratulate the students. The show was also sponsored by Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman.

This year’s Annual Juried Student Exhibition included 40 pieces that were selected from close to 200 entries by guest juror Tad Gloeckler, professor of art Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. The show featured work from graphic design, game design and 3D animation, interior architecture and studio art students.

The Dean’s Awards were selected by Joe Hopkins and will be displayed in his office during the coming year.  Recipients included Audrey Scott, Carte Blanche; Olivia Easterling, Coffee Dip; Caroline Mangum, Mr. and Mrs. Eaves; Natalie Myers, Lucia; and Sarah Gentry, Refraction.

Show winners were chosen by Gloeckler who was impressed by the quality of student work. Merit awards went to Margaret Hicks, interior design; Audrey Sylvester, graphic design; Olivia Easterling, studio art. Third place overall went to Caroline Rutledge, The Prisons. Second Place went to Trent Carruth for his sculpture, Peace is a Difficult Thing to Measure. The Best in Show went to junior graphic design major Elayna Navas, Wayward Cat Animation.

Endowed scholarships, academic awards and medals were also announced. Assistant Professor Ryan Misner presented the interior architecture awards. Friends of the Arts Outstanding Sophomore went to Rebecca Joiner and Outstanding Junior went to Beka Summa. Katie Hill received the Outstanding Graduating Senior in memory of Professor Mike Hubbs. The Rebar Award, which recognizes a senior who has consistently “built a strong bond in the learning community,” went to Katelyn Hollingsworth.

Professor and chair of the Department of Art Scott Fisk announced the Studio Art and Graphic Design awards. Maddie Mitchell received the Lowell Vann Endowed Scholarship.  Maddie Wideman received the Trevlyn Grace Campbell Memorial Scholarship in Studio Art. Sarah Skaggs received the Heitzke Graphic Design Scholarship in honor of Sarah and Eschol Taylor. Olivia Easterling received the Mary Ann Culotta Scholarship. Olivia Griffin received the Jones Family Arts Scholarship. Natalie Myers and Bridget Hooks received the Arts in Mission Scholarship. 

Despite the unusual year, Samford was able to bring a variety of artists and exhibits to the Art Gallery.  Many of the shows reflected on the events over the past year. The final exhibit of the year will feature graduating graphic design students, May 3-8.  In closing the awards ceremony, Watson praised his students and colleagues for their perseverance and hard work. “The Art & Design faculty were blown away by this year’s submissions, and we are proud of our award winning students. Our students flourished despite the bitter and brutal climate of this pandemic year. We are thrilled with their perseverance, creativity, and productivity.”





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.