March 25, 2005

Art contest supports minority graduate students

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A unique fund-raising endeavor offers artists an opportunity to compete in a juried competition and the public a chance to support minority graduate students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The “Commemorative Portraits” project is accepting entries in three categories: local amateur and professional artists; Carbondale, Murphysboro and Carterville middle and high school students; and students enrolled at SIUC and John A. Logan, Rend Lake and Shawnee community colleges. A team of professional artists and faculty members from SIUC’s School of Art and Design will select three winners in each category. Awards will include autographed sports memorabilia and gift certificates.

Proceeds from an auction of the winning original pieces will support fellowship programs for minority graduate students. In addition, organizers plan to create and market a bound volume that will include the winning portrait entries along with some of the others submitted.

The Underrepresented Fellowship Office of SIUC’s Graduate School is sponsoring the contest, in cooperation with Saluki Athletics and the School of Art and Design.

Artists may submit up to two entries of two-dimensional artwork (paintings, drawings, etchings, prints) of a designated athlete who is a member of either the SIUC football or basketball team. Artists should create their own interpretation of the athlete using photos from the photo gallery on the Saluki Athletics homepage, Type in “photo gallery football” or “photo gallery basketball” in the “search” text box.

Participants should submit a slide, photo or CD (jpeg format) of their original artwork by April 7, along with a consent form. Each submission also should include a short biography of the artist, as well as a photo of the artist and description of media used. Contest details, and the consent form, are available at Under “New Events,” click on “Commemorative Portraits” to access the PDF file.

Judging of entries is set for April 12, and notification of finalists is set for April 14. Artists will submit their original pieces on April 22 in Student Center Ballroom D. Drop-off times will be 8-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Artwork will be on display in Art Alley in the Student Center April 24-May 7.

The awards reception will take place on April 30 in the Student Center’s Old Main Lounge.

For more information, call event coordinator Jose Guajardo at 618/303-4555, or e-mail him at

Enhancing diversity on the campus is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.