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Associate Professor, MFA Student Earn Top Honors in Celebration of the Arts Exhibition

Posted March 31, 2017 in FacultyAlumniArt EducationMaster of Fine Arts

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) Art Education Associate Professor Donna St. John and Master of Fine Arts student Chakila Hoskins have won first and second place, respectively, in the annual Celebration of the Arts Exhibition organized by First United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Started in 1972, the 13-day event showcases religious-themed artwork from around the country – including paintings, sculptures, fiber art, photography, and more – chosen through a juried process. At the culmination of the event, all of the featured pieces are evaluated by a single juror, with four winning artists receiving cash prizes.

St. John, who is also a KCAD alumna (’15, MFA), won the $500 First Place Award with “Maslow Silently Awaits His Autopsy,” a mixed-media piece inspired by psychologist Abraham Maslow and his eponymous hierarchy of needs. In it, she depicts what she perceives as the American educational system’s failure to provide all students with equitable access to essential resources that meet their psychological and physical needs.

work by Donna St. John“Maslow Silently Awaits His Autopsy” by Donna St. John (credit: Matt Gubancsik)

St. John won an Honorable Mention Award in last year’s Celebration of the Arts Exhibition with a mixed-media installation titled “Mahatma Ghandi.”

Hoskins, who earned her BFA in Painting from KCAD in 2012 before entering the MFA program, won the $400 2nd Place Award with her painting “Transformation (Metamorphosis).”

wrok by Chakila Hoskins“Transformation (Metamorphosis)" by Chakila Hoskins (image courtesy of the artist)

In September of 2016, the same piece earned her a place on the short list of ArtPrize 2016 2D juror Tina Rivers Ryan, a New York-based art historian and critic.

See more of Donna St. John’s work at donnafstjohn.com.

See more of Chakila Hoskins’ work at divineartistries.com.