Every year the Grayson College Visual Arts Department holds the Student End of the Year Show which is juried.

Awards are presented at a reception and this year’s reception was recently held at the 2nd Floor Gallery at the college.

Works were juried by Southeastern Oklahoma State University Art Instructor Donna Finch Adams, who said she was very pleased with the show.

“I always feel a great deal of excitement when I am invited to jury a student art competition,” Adams’ jurors statement said. “I get to see the students work with new and fresh ideas and I know how he or she is experiencing the struggle involved in finding a voice. Sometimes, it feels like it is a long and difficult path. All artists go through that process and I wish the students at Grayson the best of luck and a joyful journey. “

During the early May ceremony, Grayson College Art Professor Kristin Erickson announced the awards with the help of adjunct art instructor Jesse Reinhard.

Five students were selected to receive awards for their art. The first given was a merit award presented to Terisa Wilson for her painting, “Turkish Bath House.” An award of distinction was given to Jamy Miller for, “4 the Love of My Lips.” Jessica Neihardt received an award of distinction for “Bloodletting.”

“This is a juried show featuring works by GC Visual Arts students currently enrolled in the art program or taking studio art courses,” Erickson said. “The exhibit features 39 works of art by 11 artists, including Jamy Miller, Jessica Neihardt, Eamon Keefer-McGee, Rita Casavantes Sofey, Travis Knapp, Terisa Wilson, Donna Dennington, Jesse Lucian, Amber Washington, Kenzie Barror and Rebecca Smith.”

The purchase award was presented to Neihardt for “Odd Fellows.” Every year the purchase award winner’s piece is selected to become part of the permanent collection on display at Grayson College.

The winner of two awards, Neihardt explained the importance of art classes.

“In the real world, art is about deadlines, but as an artist your only deadline is to grow as a human being,” she said. “As a student, witnessing fellow student’s growth is a great reward for meeting that deadline.”

Best of show honors went to Washington for “Ballroom.”

“I love that students have an opportunity to exhibit their work in a gallery setting,” Erickson said. “It gives them an opportunity to take themselves seriously as artists and pushes them to make their best work. Also, it is satisfying and beneficial to celebrate and reflect on their effort and growth from the past year.”

Reinhard was especially pleased with the show.

“I was impressed with how professional the exhibition looked, not just the amount of art, but also the quality of the work,” he said. “The students worked really hard this semester and it showed.”

During the school year, the 2nd Floor Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The college is located at 6101 Grayson Drive in Denison.

For more information about the Grayson College Visual Arts Department, contact Erickson at 903-463-8662, check out Grayson College Visual Arts Department on Facebook, or visit denisonartsculture.com.