From left, Best in Show winner Ann-Louise Abbot with Megan Stepe.

AVON PARK, Fla. – April 21, 2017 – South Florida State College’s Museum of Florida Art and Culture (MOFAC) honored the winners of its annual juried student art exhibition during a reception on April 20.

The awards ceremony recognized drawings, paintings, sculpture, and a range of other artwork students created during their studies in SFSC’s Art Department. The students’ art is on display in MOFAC’s gallery through May 4.

“We’ve had an amazing number of great pieces up for consideration this year,” said Megan Stepe, the museum’s curator. “This year saw 32 students submit 81 works for consideration by the jury.”

Ann-Louise Abbott walked away with the Max Gooding Best in Show Purchase Award for her set of ceramic figures titled “Elephant to Heart Series.” She received $400 for the four-piece set depicting the transformation of an elephant to a human heart.

Max Gooding, an alumnus of SFSC’s art department, sponsors this top prize and other awards. Gooding, who went on to earn a degree in landscape architecture at the University of Florida, owns a landscape architecture consultancy, the Max Gooding Company, in Naples, Fla.

This year, two students, Alex Rodriguez and Meagan Smith, won the Max Gooding Award of Excellence for their artwork. The honor comes with a $100 check for each student.

Six students received the Best of Media Award, with each awardee receiving $75. The winners were Taylor Webb, two-dimensional mixed media; Whitney Williams for three-dimensional media; Alexis Conner, pottery; Ray Espidol, drawing, Abigail Zevallos, painting; Lindsey Mangrum, photography.

Awards of Merit were presented to Destinee Ellis, Ann-Louise Abbott, Meagan Smith, Lyla Gill, Jasmine Santana, Magdalena Rodriguez, Lizbeth Silva, and Kalani Dubberly.

This year’s ceremony included the addition of new award category: People’s Choice award. Stepe said the winner was chosen by a vote of the students’ colleagues. Kelsey Pena’s drawing titled “This Took Forever: Morgan Antush” came out on top as the people’s choice.

Also new this year, was the President’s Award. SFSC president Dr. Thomas C. Leitzel selected one piece that garnered a $100 award. Josie Wilson’s photograph titled “The Pale Lady” was the president’s choice.

Members of the Tanglewood Art League were on hand to present their sixth annual scholarship award. This year the league tapped two students to share the award. Abigail Zevallos and Kalani Dubberly each took home $300 for their submissions.

The show was juried by Joey Sacco, a local artist, former SFSC adjunct art instructor, and a member of MOFAC’s Advisory Committee.

The 2017 Student Art Exhibit sponsors were the SFSC Alumni Association, SFSC Art Club, Mary Coats, Max Gooding, Terri McLaren, Karla Respress, Anne and Charles Reynolds, Tanglewood Art League, and Linda Zimolzak.

The exhibition will be on view at MOFAC through May 4. The museum is open to the public on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m., or by appointment for group tours. Patrons of the Wildstein Center may visit the museum one hour prior to matinee and evening performances. For more information, call Stepe at 863-784-7240.