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Students Showcase Art at Lander University’s Juried Exhibition

Kristina Peay, a senior from Lexington, S.C., won the coveted Best in Show award with her photograph “Cowboy Kip,” inspired by a class trip to Montana. Photo by Larry L. Padgett

The 2024 Student Juried Exhibition revealed its winners on Thursday evening during a reception held at the Art Gallery in Lander University’s Abney Cultural Center. Showcasing the exceptional talents of art students across six mediums—ceramics, sculpture, photography, painting, drawing, and graphics—the event captivated attendees with over 50 submissions.

The prestigious Best in Show was claimed by Kristina Peay, a senior from Lexington, S.C., whose photograph titled “Cowboy Kip” stood out among the diverse entries. Peay, who submitted two additional works including a ceramic piece, shared that her inspiration stemmed from a group excursion to K Bar Ranch in Montana last October. She said the model posing as the cowboy was a friend of Professor Jon Holloway.

Peay expressed her elation in winning, stating, "I'm shaking right now. I am truly honored to receive this recognition for my work, especially among such a talented group of artists."

The winners in each special category are as follows:

Ceramics: 1st place - M.G. Morrow; 2nd place - Elaina Woodard; 3rd place - Kyle Erin

Sculpture: 1st place - Georgia Ricard; 2nd place - Ana Moreno; 3rd place - Brendan Bousseau

Photography: 1st place - Kristina Peay; 2nd place - Jacob Henry; 3rd place - Jacob Henry

Painting: 1st place - Anastasia Muzzarelli; 2nd place - Georgia Ricard; 3rd place - Lauren DaRe

Drawing: 1st place - Ashton Reid; 2nd place - Logan Cooper; 3rd place - Scarlott Smith

Graphic Design: 1st place - Magie Ahern; 2nd place - Kyle Erin; 3rd place - Maggie Ahern

The Lander University 2024 Student Juried Exhibition is on display in the Art Gallery inside the Cultural Center through Feb. 28. Many of the exhibitors (pictured) met with the media this week to discuss their entries. Photo by Larry L. Padgett

Students could submit up to three entries, with no more than two entries in any category.

M.G. Morrow's ceramic piece titled "Making do with what I am given," secured the top spot in ceramics, incorporating metal elements. Morrow, a junior, shared, "I love metal and am fascinated mixing materials.” She said she finds “beauty in transforming the ordinary into something beautiful."

Anastasia Muzzarelli, born in Venezuela, won first place in painting. She said she has only been painting for about two years but has been drawing since high school. Her family moved to Greenville, S.C. about ten years ago.

Georgia Ricard took first place in sculpture and earned a second place in the painting category.

Maggie Ahern’s topographical maps won first place in the graphic design category and was also inspired by the trip to Montana last year. She also took third place in the category making her a double-winner. She is currently working an internship in Greenville and will continue full time as a graphic designer when she graduates in May.

Jacob Henry achieved second and third place in the photography category with his Polaroid captures "Montana Mountain" and "Montana Truck." Despite photography not being his primary focus, Henry shared, "It's a nice change of pace from ceramics, allowing me to explore different perspectives and techniques," the Simpsonville, S.C. native said.

Another double-winner was Kyle Erin, who took second place in graphic design and third in ceramics.



Gabrielle Torres, a Lander alumna and artist currently teaching at the Savannah College of Art and Design, lent her expertise to the selection process as juror.

"We were thrilled to have Gabrielle join us as our juror," remarked Professor Jon Holloway. “Gabrielle had a solo exhibit at the Lander Art Gallery last fall; her work was dynamic and very well-received by the students.”

“Her work has received numerous awards and recognition. Having her expertise to review the Lander student work was a great opportunity for Lander art students,” Holloway added.

Torres showcases regularly at the esteemed Gray Gallery in Atlanta.

The exhibition, sponsored by Self Regional Healthcare, will remain on display until February 28. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For further details, contact Jon Holloway, director of the Lander Art Gallery, at (864) 388-8810 or via email at

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