Alumni Plaza the center of the Dowagiac campus


Sam Walker, Sashenka Cruz

Professor Sam Walker congratulates popular vote winner Sashenka Cruz of Dowagiac

Cecilia Matthews, President Dr. Joe Odenwald

Cecilia Matthews of Edwardsburg, President Dr. Joe Odenwald

Interesting things were done to old books

Interesting things were done using old books

random shot

The SMC Art Gallery before it filled up with people

Cruz's clipboard

Sashenka Cruz's clipboard is in the middle, with her self-portrait up and to the left

Graphic design first place

First place in graphic design went to Zach Stokes of Niles, better known for his basketball exploits for the Roadrunners

SMC Student Art Show Opens

Published on April 16, 2024 - 5 p.m.

Sashenka Cruz of Dowagiac and Cecilia Matthews of Edwardsburg received recognition April 16 at Southwestern Michigan College’s annual student art show in the Art Gallery of the Dale A. Lyons Building.

Cruz won the popular vote for the Peer Award. This is her first full year as a college student after starting at SMC while still attending Union High School.

She plans to attend Wayne State University in Detroit after her final semester. “They have a master’s degree in art therapy,” said Cruz, who did a graphite portrait, sketched a self-portrait and drew a clipboard framing a scene of a disheveled man in a suit on the phone, his torso sprawled on the floor while his legs rest in an office chair.

“When I was drawing the self-portrait, I kept saying, ‘This doesn’t look like me,’ ” she said. “Last year I didn’t win anything, so this was my shot.”

Matthews received the President’s Choice Award from President Dr. Joe Odenwald, who selected her still-life oil painting of an apple as his favorite.

“Every year, it’s not easy to make this choice,” Odenwald said. “I wanted to pick six things, but that wasn’t possible, so I tried to negotiate three things, and that wasn’t possible, either.”

Matthews expects to transfer to Indiana University South Bend (IUSB) to continue her art studies after graduating from SMC May 4.

“I’m still thinking about it,” Matthews said, “but I may teach art. My dream job would be working in an art-related museum. I’ve never been good at realism, so I’m glad it turned out. I paint and draw. I used to work with acrylic a lot.”

President’s Choice Award: Cecilia Matthews, ART212-Painting II

MINA (best piece of the show) Award: Olivia Converse, ART220-Graphic Design II

Peer Choice Award (winner of the popular vote): Sashenka Cruz, ART210-Drawing II


Category winners:

Drawing 1st place: Indy Schalk, ART210-Drawing II

Judge’s Merit Awards in Drawing:

Katie Ianello, ART102-Drawing I

Caydance Sluder, ART102-Drawing I

Lilly Yeater, ART210-Drawing II

Painting 1st Place: Atheylia Pachovas, ART110-Art Appreciation

Judge’s Merit Awards in Painting:

Tyhe Glenn, ART211-Painting I 

Lilly Yeater, ART212-Painting 2 

Photography 1st Place: Jacob Marr, ART105-Photographic Design

Judge’s Merit Awards in Photography:

Nix Delucia, ART105-Photographic Design

Olivia Converse, ART105-Photographic Design

Graphic Design 1st Place: Zach Stokes, ART220-Graphic Design II

Judge’s Merit Awards in Graphic Design:

Aiden Killeen, ART100-Intro to Digital Art & Design

Avery Mcphail, ART100-Intro to Digital Art & Design

Jaylee Reybuck, ART100-Intro to Digital Art & Design

Jax Brown, ART219-Graphic Design I

Olivia Converse, ART219-Graphic Design I

Caylie Dibble, ART220-Graphic Design II

Mixed Media 1st Place: BellaSera Paluzzi, ART101-Two Dimensional Design

Judge’s Merit Award in Mixed Media: 

Melanie Jarvis, ART101-Two Dimensional Design

Three Dimensional Design 1st place: Gracie Olson, ART204-Art History II

Judge’s Merit Awards in Three Dimensional Design:

Olivia Converse, ART120-Three Dimensional Design

Indy Shalk, ART120-Three Dimensional Design

The exhibit opened April 15. The gallery will be open Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.-noon; and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 5-6:30 p.m.; and during Lyons events on Thursday, April 25, 6:30 p.m. until end of event; and Tuesday, April 30, 3 p.m. until end of event.