IU East announces 41st annual Whitewater Valley Art Competition awards, entrants

The annual Whitewater Valley Art Competition awards reception was held October 18 at Indiana University East. Originating in 1978 with open judging, the event has hosted prestigious artists and art experts of national acclaim for the jurying.

artwork with pant leg, foot and mice

“Marie…Marie…DU Est Le Fromage” by Steven C. Meyer of Porter, Indiana, received first place in the 41st annual Whitewater Valley Art Competition.

The exhibition includes 54 pieces from 46 artists across Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan.

Artwork was selected by this year’s jurors Brian Harper, artist and associate professor of fine arts and ceramics area coordinator at IU Southeast; Emily Sheehan, an artist and assistant professor of fine arts at IU Southeast; and Minda Douglas, an artist and associate professor in fine arts and coordinator of the Fine Arts Program at IU Kokomo. The jurors determined the award winners.

The 41st Whitewater Valley Art exhibit is on display in The Gallery and Meijer Artway now through December 13. The regional competition accepts entries from artists ages 18 and over residing in Indiana and its neighboring states.

The exhibit is presented by First Bank Richmond.

two women view a piece of art in the gallery

Guests attending the 41st Whitewater Valley Art Competition reception view artwork for this year’s entrants exhibit.

About the Jurors

  • Brian Harper is an artist and associate professor of fine arts and ceramics area coordinator at IU Southeast. He holds a B.F.A. from Northern Arizona University and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. His work has been exhibited in over 80 national and international exhibitions, including seven solo exhibitions. In addition to his studio practice and his teaching, Harper is the founder and executive director of Artaxis Organization, Inc., a nonprofit art organization that promotes the professional pursuits of artists in ceramics and sculpture. Artaxis.org hosts the work of over 450 contemporary artists and is one of the largest peer-reviewed collections of contemporary work in ceramics and sculpture online.

    artist looks at wood sculpture in gallery

    Artist Charles Mintz examines one of the Whitewater Valley Art Competition exhibition pieces.

  • Emily Sheehan is an assistant professor of fine arts at IU Southeast and has work in the collections of the Weisman Art Museum, the Target Corporation, and the College of St. Benedict. She received her M.F.A. from Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a focus on visual studies and earned her B.A. in studio arts from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota. She’s exhibited her work in numerous solo and juried group exhibitions throughout the United States. In 2015 she served as an invited lecturer at the We All Draw: Interdisciplinary Symposium in London, England.
  • Minda Douglas is an associate professor in fine arts and coordinator of the Fine Arts Program at IU Kokomo. She teaches courses in printmaking, drawing, two-dimensional design, painting and art history. She has an interest in overseas travel with students, and she has taken several groups to Italy and France as part of her courses. She exhibits her mixed media drawings, prints and installations locally, regionally and nationally. In 2011, Douglas exhibited her work in a one-person exhibition at the 924 Gallery in Indianapolis titled Change Is Nature. She was a recipient of the Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Indiana Arts Council in 2003, and she has won several top awards in juried exhibitions in Indiana and across the country.

    two women discuss a metal and wood sculpture in the galler

    WVAC reception guests discuss artwork by one of the entrant artists for this year’s exhibition.

IU East’s 41st Annual Whitewater Valley Art Competition Top Entrants

  • First Place ($2,500 award)
    Steven C. Meyer, Porter, Indiana – “Marie…Marie…DU Est Le Fromage,” Wood, paint, glass and wire
  • Second Place ($1,000 award)
    Wendi Smith, Corydon, Indiana – “Wishbone Reliquary,” Acrylic, metal leaf on wood box and found natural objects
  • Third Place ($750 award)
    Kyle Surges, Lockport, Illinois – “Drinking Happy Bird,” Oil on panel

Honorable Mention

  • Susan Carlson, Cincinnati, Ohio ($250) – “Samaritan,” Acrylic
  • Sam Kelly, Dayton, Ohio ($250) – “Still Life IX,” Oil, cold wax on paper
  • Sylvia Harwood, Ellsworth, Michigan ($250) – “Madama Butterfly,” Mosaic artwork oil