Student Writing Competition winners presented at Jule Collins


The Jule Collins Smith Museum presented the winners of its Student Writing Competition on the evening of April 20. The competition, which was open to graduate and undergraduate students at the University, aimed to celebrate works that have been exhibited at the museum.

The Student Writing Competition is the brainchild of Scott Bishop, Jule Collins’ curator of education and University liaison. Bishop said the purpose of the competition is to have students “spend time actually looking at real works of art and respond to them academically or creatively.”

The entries for the competition were submitted either to the creative competition or academic competition. The academic entries examined an artwork’s history by writing a seminar paper, while creative responses saw students write poems, short stories or essays inspired by any of the museum’s pieces.

Summer Perry, junior in studio art, came in first for her paper titled "Shoes" by Andy Warhol in the academic papers’ portion of the competition, and Madison Kimel, sophomore in media studies, won second place.

MeMe Collier, junior in english and pre-med, finished first in the creative writing competition, and Karl Hakmiller followed in second. 

Collier wrote a short story titled “Ekphrasiac,” inspired by the Elliott Porter photograph, “Small Stream and Cinders." “Ekphrasiac” told the story of a man and woman looking at a piece of sidewalk art. Collier said inspiration came from Porter's photograph. 

Every year, the academic writing section is judged by a single art historian, while one of the visiting poets for the museum’s Third Thursday Poetry Series judges the creative writing entries. This year, the creative writing and academic sections received 28 entries.

The student winners were invited to read their entries during the open mic portion of the Third Thursday Poetry Series with Sandra Beasley.

Editor's note: Karl Hackmiller is a writer at The Auburn Plainsman.

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