Southwest Virginia Juried Student Show on display in Radford

Juror Heather Evans Smith

Amid the hustle and bustle of downtown Radford lies an art museum designed to showcase student work to the public.

On display at the Radford University Art Museum Downtown are photographs submitted to the Southwest Virginia Juried Student Photography Competition.

The competition received more than 200 submissions, a result of the deliberate effort by Radford University Photography Assistant Professor Andrew Ross to make competitions more accessible to students.

“We tried to remove barriers of entry by allowing students to submit two pieces to the competition free of charge and by having Radford University students matte and frame each piece entry,” Ross said.

The professional matting gave each entry a gallery-quality look while adding depth to the image. The standardized matting allowed juror Heather Evans Smith to judge each student’s work solely on the merits of the image. While in the judging process, Smith was not privy to names, gender or other personally-identifiable information regarding each submission. 

Students entered their images into one of three categories: College analog, college digital and high school.  For this year’s competition, Ross added a high school category, which was well-received in student participation.  


Students and visitors enjoying the opening reception at the Radford University Art Museum Downtown. Photo courtesy of Andrew Ross.

The wide-ranging photographic subjects of the students’ work often varied from Smith’s own style. But when judging a photograph, Smith wants to feel an emotion, regardless of the photographic style.

“The most important thing is that I feel something when I look at the photograph, so that’s the main gauge,” Smith said. “Is it engaging? Is it making me feel something? It could be any emotion.”

Secondary for Smith while judging are the technical aspects of each photograph.

“I surprised myself with some of the choices,” Smith said. “There were so many different styles submitted; I was drawn to things that are so different from my style.”

The Radford University Art Museum Downtown is located at 1129 E. Main St. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and is on display until March 1.

Radford University student Estelle Fisher (center) wins 2nd Place in the College Analog category. Heather Evans Smith (left) and Andrew Ross (right) presented the award. To view the winners, click on the photo to view the gallery.

Below is a list of all winners:

  • Best in Show - Wilson Miller, Washington and Lee University, for "South Glade Street 3"
  • 1st Place College Analog - Brittany Richardson, Hollins University, for "Flora"
  • 2nd Place College Analog - Estelle Fisher, Radford University, for "Tree Legs"
  • 3rd Place College Analog - Mac Workman, Lynchburg College, for "(g) 12/10/16 8:19pm"
  • 1st Place College Digital - Suzanna Mayer, Washington and Lee University, for "Midnight Web"
  • 2nd Place College Digital - Juliet Gilbert, Hollins University, for "Dried Blossoms"
  • 3rd Place College Digital - Bill Connelly, Central Virginia Community College, for "Morning Salutations"
  • 1st Place High School - Nola George Scott, Blacksburg High School, for "Cartwheel"
  • 2nd Place High School - Logan Gillespie, Blacksburg High School, for "Contrasting Textures"
  • 3rd Place High School - Kaya Windpainter, Blacksburg High School, for "Chasing the Sun"
  • Honorable Mention - Delaney Witten, Hollins University, for "Gabby"
  • Honorable Mention - Katie Grandelli, Hollins University, for "Last Fall"
  • Honorable Mention - Nya Monroe-Stephens, Hollins University, for "Kaleidoscope"
  • Honorable Mention - Dakota Galla, New River Community College, for "Still of the Night"
  • Honorable Mention - Allecia Taylor, Radford University, for "Shadow"
  • Honorable Mention - Haley Alexander, Radford University, for "Glitch"
  • Honorable Mention - Edward Griggs, UVA-Wise, for "Just Walk"
  • Honorable Mention - Devanshu Desai, Virginia Western Community College, for "Qatar National Day"
  • Honorable Mention - Suzanna Mayer, Washington and Lee University, for "Enveloped"
  • Honorable Mention - Wilson Miller, Washington and Lee University, for "South Glade Street 2"
Radford University student Haley Alexander (center) is awarded an Honorable Mention. Heather Evans Smith (left) and Andrew Ross (right) presented the award.

In addition to the winners listed above, a number of Radford University students had their work accepted into the show:

  • Haley Alexander
  • Annie Dongoski
  • Kelsey Dooley
  • Estelle Fisher
  • Colton Rhea McConnell
  • Lauren Slough
  • Allecia Taylor
  • Aubrey Woodward

Feb 24, 2017
Max Esterhuizen
(540) 831-7749