Ricardo Mendiola with “Paquette”

AVON PARK, Fla. – April 19, 2019 – South Florida State College’s (SFSC) Museum of Florida Art and Culture (MOFAC) honored the winners of its annual juried Student Art Show during a reception and ceremony on Thursday, April 18 in the MOFAC gallery on the SFSC Highlands Campus in Avon Park.

The awards ceremony recognized drawings, paintings, photography, and a range of other artwork students created during their studies in SFSC’s Art Department. The students’ art is on display in the gallery through May 8.

“The artwork displayed in this exhibition represents the students’ openness to taking on new concepts and techniques under the direction of their art professor, Karla Respress, and honing their craft with focus and determination,” said Megan Stepe, MOFAC curator.

Ricardo Mendiola walked away with the Max Gooding Best in Show Purchase Award for his large, gold leaf and acrylic painting titled “Paquette.” He received $400 in prize money. Max Gooding, an alumnus of SFSC’s Art Department, sponsors this top prize. 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, Kylie A. Daum and William J. Hernandez, won the Cathy Futral Award of Excellence for their artwork. Daum won for her clay sculpture titled “Gentle Ganoderma,” and Hernandez won for his acrylic painting titled “Wine & Dine.” The honor comes with a $100 check for each student. Futral was a beloved SFSC art professor who retired from the College two years ago.

The winner of the People’s Choice Award is chosen by a vote of the students’ colleagues and receives $50 in prize money. This year’s winner was Jaimaris Mendez for her charcoal series titled “Release,” “Opposition,” and “Surrender.”

Dr. Thomas C. Leitzel, SFSC president, selected one piece that garnered the President’s Award and $100 in prize money: Kelli Sullivan’s photograph titled “Serenity.”

The MOFAC docents created an award for student artwork. The Docents’ Choice Awards were bestowed upon Amber Fillie for her collage titled “Color Movement 2,” and on Sydney Rigdon for her digital photograph titled “Colorful Cacti.”

Members of the Tanglewood Art League were on hand to present their eighth annual scholarship award. This year, the league honored two students with the award. Jaimaris Mendez and Ricardo Mendiola took home $300 each for their submissions.

Six students received the Best of Media Award, with each awardee receiving $75. The winners were Syniah Edwards, two-dimensional, mixed media; Jaimaris Mendez for dry-media drawing, charcoal; Casey Phillips, wet-media drawing, mixed media; Miquel Perkins, pottery; Ricardo mendiola, acrylic painting; and Erica D. Alonso, photography.

Awards of Merit were presented to Destinee Ellis, William J. Hernandez, Jamee Keller, Maxee Khang, Love Lopez, Jaimaris Mendez, Ricardo Mendiola, Elrad Nevers, Emma Rustenberghe, Sierra Coward, Corinne Moore, River Ray, and Aaron Timpe.

The 2019 Student Art Show sponsors were the SFSC Alumni Association, Cathy Futral and Max Gooding.

MOFAC is open to the public Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. For more information about the museum and its exhibitions, visit mofac.org or contact Stepe at stepem@southflorida.edu.