March 4, 2008

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

Page Wins First in Centennial Art Competition

VALDOSTA - Courtney Page’s “VSU Architecture” was awarded first place in Valdosta State University’s Centennial Art Competition at the awards ceremony and exhibition opening held from 5-7 p.m. Monday, March 3, in Odum Library.

A senior majoring in Art, Page said she used Adobe Illustrator to create a piece that truly identified the architectural elements on VSU’s campus that have transcended through time. She was initially reluctant to use the West Hall dome, but finally began sketching it because she sees it as a beacon of light for VSU students. Page plans to use her $400 cash prize for art supplies and savings for graduate school.

“I’m really excited, but this was very unexpected,” Page said. “There are some really amazing pieces and such variety. I really think everyone did a great job.”

Laura Murren, second place winner agreed that competition was very impressive. A junior Spanish major, she plans to save the $300 cash prize for her summer study abroad trip. Her acrylic painting “Center of the Universe” used bold colors to illustrate the view she saw walking to her residence hall from class every day.

“I love that view and I tried to capture it in acrylic,” Murren explained, regarding the point she tried to communicate through her piece. “I really feel like VSU becomes a student’s world and this was the center of my universe.”

Alexander Abell, a senior Finance major, started with a traditional sepia tone photograph of West Hall, but was challenged by his peers to push his talents to the edge. Manipulating the photo in Adobe Photo Illustrator, Abell successfully created three very different, yet very attractive pieces: “Colorful Campus,” “A Certain Shade of Green” and “Stop and Go Education.” The first entry ranked third in the competition.

Laura Murren, second place winner
Laura Murren, second place winner
“In ’Colorful Campus’ I tried to transform a dreary day into an image with bright colors,” Abell said. “This is the first art competition I’ve entered since seventh grade, so placing third feels great. I’m glad to have been a part of such a rewarding experience.”

Other pieces included watercolor, graphite and mixed media pieces as well as photography and digital illustrations. The entries are on display near the HUB center on the second floor of Odum Library and many are up for sale, though not available for pickup until the end of the exhibition in April.
Many VSU faculty members assisted with the preliminary judging and exhibition setup, while Jamie Harmon, gallery curator at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, served as final judge. Sponsored by the VSU Centennial Steering Committee, the competition was organized by Dr. Sharon Gravett, committee member and assistant vice president for Academic Affairs.

The competition is designed to celebrate the artistic presentation of VSU’s community and campus as well as to promote and reward student artistic achievement, according to Gravett. Entries were required to focus on any aspect of the campus or community of VSU, present or historical, and could be submitted in any traditional and contemporary media. Any VSU student enrolled during fall semester 2007 was eligible to enter up to three submissions and artwork must have been completed while the artist was a VSU student.

The public is invited to support these amazing student artists at the opening and throughout the exhibition. For more information about the contest visit or for library operating hours visit .

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