2016 Student Art Show Winners, Scholarship Announced

April 18, 2016

The 2016 Student Art Show started with a bang last night during the annual Reception and Awards ceremony as over $1,750 in scholarships and prizes was given to Rend Lake College students and artists.

Over 100 pieces of art are on display in the RLC Theatre lobby and Learning Resource Center on campus. Melissa McClement-Engler, Art Associate Professor, thanked everyone for attending and began announcing award recipients.

The Purchase Award, chosen by RLC administrators to be bought by the college and hung on the walls across campus, went to Jessica Baird of Bluford for her piece, “Pinwheel.” The RLC Foundation award winners included the Foundation Award to Autumn Breeze of Waltonville for “Where the Heart is,” the Claxton Award to Danny Adams of Mt. Vernon for “Cross-Contoured Tree,” the Adam Award to Justin Bolen of Mt. Vernon for “Slick Variations,” and the Alyssa Award to Brooke Robertson of Christopher for “Fashion Industry.”

“It means a lot to have you here supporting art and our students,” said McClement-Engler. “Congratulations to our students for being here and showing your work. I’m very proud of all of you. I’m also very excited to work with some of our new high school students who will be joining us next fall.”

Three high school students received academic awards for RLC’s Art program next year based on their work. They are Raven Dean from Benton High School, Kyrie Dial from Benton High School, and Lauren Jackson from Mt. Vernon Township High School. Brooke Riddle of Thompsonville High School also received the Adam Lee Lorance Memorial Art Scholarship to help cover tuition and supplies next year.


McClement-Engler, LEFT, awarded four high school students for their work in this year’s Art Show. They are, FROM LEFT, Brooke Riddle (Thompsonville HS), Lauren Jackson (Mt. Vernon Township High School), Kyrie Dial (Benton High School), and Raven Dean (Benton High School).

World-renown artist Najjar Abdul-Musawwir, Lead Fine Arts Instructor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, was also on hand to judge the event and hand out the Best of Show and Best of Portfolio awards.

“It’s always an honor and a privilege to stand before those who are intellectuals, like yourselves. I am impressed by the artwork I’ve seen here tonight, and when I tell you I’m very proud of you, I mean it,” said Abdul-Musawwir. “I also want to thank this institution for working with you. I encourage you to go far with this. I’ve come a long way with art, and you can too, you just have to find your niche.”

Winning Best of Show was Mykennah Allen of Shelbyville with “Dragon Book.” The Best Portfolio award went to Brooke Robertson of Christopher. Abdul-Musawwir also selected the top three winners in 2D and 3D art. Winners in 2D were Justin Bolen’s (Mt. Vernon) “Ouch,” Deborah Loucks’ (Mt. Vernon) “Monarch Caterpillar,” and Laura Spiller’s (West Frankfort) “Lethal in Stripes,” respectively. Top winners in 3D were Allyssa Fox’s (Thompsonville) “The Mother’s Wrath,” Jessica Baird’s (Bluford) “Pinwheel,” and Brooke Robertson’s (Christopher) “White Rose.”

Five students also received honorable mentions at the event, including Whitney Summers of Thompsonville for “Changes,” Logan Tharp of Norris City for “Not Yours, Mine,” Heather Parrish of Herrin for “Cinnamon Roll,” Shelby Patterson of Waltonville for “Playbill Posing,” and Danielle Stroud of Christopher for “Addiction.”


The scholarship and award winners from the 2016 Student Art Show are pictured with McClement-Engler, LEFT, and Najjar Abdul-Musawwir, FIFTH FROM LEFT. They are, FROM LEFT, Autumn Breeze of Waltonville, Jessica Baird of Bluford, Shelby Patterson of Waltonville, Deborah Loucks of Mt. Vernon, Allyssa Fox of Thompsonville, Brooke Riddle of Thompsonville High School, Whitney Summers of Thompsonville, Laura Spiller of West Frankfort, Danielle Stroud of Christopher, Logan Tharp of Norris City, Lauren Jackson of Mt. Vernon Township High School, Brooke Robertson of Christopher, Kyrie Dial of Benton High School, Danny Adams of Mt. Vernon, and Raven Dean of Benton High School.

At the end of the ceremony, McClement-Engler also announced the winners of the Students for Students scholarship and the instructor’s favorite piece. Funds for the scholarship are raised annually by the Art League and the Student Art Auction. This year’s recipient was Deborah Loucks of Mt. Vernon. Patrick Burke of Dix was announced as the winner of the instructor’s choice award.

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