77th Annual Wabash Valley Exhibition

November 5, 2021 – January 9, 2022


This year’s distinguished juror is Drék Davis. A native of Monroe, Georgia, Davis is a 2006 graduate of the University of Georgia Fine Arts program – with an emphasis in drawing and painting. Primarily a mixed-media artist, Davis is also a former columnist for the Athens Banner-Herald and Code Z Online: Black Visual Culture Now. Davis has presented papers at several academic conferences, including the HUIC Conference (Hawaii University International Conferences) Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, for which he discussed manifestations of Hip-Hop culture in the visual arts. His work has been featured in the Politics Issue of Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters, ColorLines, and over sixty exhibitions. Mr. Davis is Professor, and Head of the Department of Visual & Performing Arts at Grambling State University, in Grambling Louisiana. A word from Drék:


It has been my pleasure to review and jury the artwork for the 77th Annual Wabash Valley Exhibition. Submitting work for consideration can be nerve-wracking. Well, I assure you that jurying those works is equally tense, if not more so. I have applied to, and have been rejected from, more exhibitions than I can count or care to remember. However, I was regularly reminded by artist friends and professors that “You never really know what a juror is thinking.” It wasn’t until after graduate school that a friend of mine, who had the pleasure of interviewing the esteemed Benny Andrews after his jurying stint, put it into stark relief for me. Mr. Andrews said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “If you got in, don’t be too happy. And if you didn’t get in, don’t be too sad. The show that I jury tomorrow could be completely different.” There is some subjectivity in the jurying process, to be sure. Bt there are some basic considerations that one is bound by.

With the intention of selecting works that demonstrate considerable skill and thoughtfulness, I began the process. What you have exhibited before you are the works that not only resonated with me but helped to create cohesiveness. While there is no specific theme for the exhibition, it seemed to me that the vast majority of hte works submitted in one way or another spoke to the moment that we find ourselves in. Nina Simone is famously noted as saying “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” And while it is debatable whether that charge is an actual duty, per se, the works assembled here suggest that numberous artists in the Waash Valley understand it as an opportunity to address some of life’s persistent emotional, social, and psychological issues. In the times that we find ourselves, for this moment, that’s important I think.

Pursuing this opportunity has given us seventy-five works that help to initiate a conversation that we may not otherwise have had, were it not for the artwork that acts as the catalyst for contemplation. This is at the heart of my selection process. All the artwork that graces these spaces evoked a desire, or intention, to inspire something more than just an appreciation for aesthetic sensibilities or technical ability. This iteration of the Annual Wabash Valley Exhibition offers seventy-five ways to engage with our neighbors, and perhaps better understand our relationships with them. This ehibition gives shape to our collective dreams, hopes, fears, and memories. Physical manifestations of what calls to us in the quiet moments. So, with that, I say ‘congratulations’ to those whose works were selected. And I say ‘thank you’ to all who continuously make the time to create soemthing that didn’t already exist in this world. Keep on.


drék davis


Watch the awards ceremony:

Award Recipients

Awards of Merit:


Howard E. Wooden, Sr. Memorial Best of Show Grand Prize

Alexandra McNichols-Torroledo, Terre Haute, IN, The Amazon Rainforest Turning into a Savanna and Carbon Dioxide Emitter


Quinquagenary Grand Prize in painting given in memory of Emily Cox Gedrick

Martin Arnold, Florence, AL, SHAWANDA


Bill Carls Grand Prize Award

Michael Bruner, Mascoutah, IL, Adam


Sarah Decker Ning Award of Distinction

Bruce Erikson, Lebanon, OH, Love Comforting Loss


The Billy Cactus Studios Award of Distinction

Eunique Rice, Cahokia, IL, Man in Sunflower Durag


Brenda F. Milliren Award of Distinction in memory of Phil Milliren

Mark Warpenburg, Mooresville, IN Peony With Little Buddy


Laney Meis Award of Distinction

Jerry Smith, Crawfordsville, IN Heartland Chord


Alliance of the Swope Award of Distinction

Lisa Pelo, Clayton, IN, The Sun Rises


Sarah Decker Ning Award of Honor

Cody Winter, Riga, MI, Midwestern Grandeur


Susan & George Brittain Award of Honor

Jonathan Lee, Richmond, VA, Barryer


Nancy & Fred Nation Award of Honor

Joe Rohrman, Noblesville, IN, Stop Killing Us!


Kevin & Emily Runion Award of Honor in honor of their 50th Wedding Anniversary

James Shepard, West Terre Haute, IN, Rachel


Frank Swaim, MD Award of Honor

Wyatt LeGrand, Bloomfield, IN, From Ten and a Half


Dr. William & Betsy Hine Award of Honor

Terry Lacy, Delphi, IN, Birdseye Journal


Alliance of the Swope Award of Honor

Betty J. Scarpino, Indianapolis, IN, With Child


Sarah Decker Ning Award of Honor

Austin Roberts, Terre Haute, IN Adhesive Phantasm


Tonya & Chris Pfaff Award of Recognition

Timothy Tyree, Maumee, OH, Down In It


David & Joan Zaun Award of Recognition

Carl Gay, Richmond, IN, Siesta


Dorothy W. Jerse Award of Recognition

Eileen Woods, Columbus, OH, You’re Only Alive If Someone Remembers You


Link Art Gallery Award of Recognition in honor of Link Art Gallery in Paris

John Wolfer, Loveland, OH, Almost Savage


Eileen Prose Award of Recognition in memory of Ted Prose

Vandra Pentecost, Indianapolis, IN, Radiance


Ellie M. Caldwell, CPA Award of Recognition

Todd Stokes, Dennison, IL, Pandemic Park


Rachel Berenson Perry Award of Recognition for a work on paper

Craig Fisher, Toledo, OH, Carrion


Lind Law Firm Award of Recognition

Michael Marling, Terre Haute, IN, Heart of Gold


Award of Recognition

Rob Millard-Mendez, Evansville, IN, TRQJAN Horse


Eleanor Cox Riggs Award of Recognition

Olivia Hinkel, Indianapolis, IN, Like Hell


Julia Turner Award of Recognition in memory of Phyllis Dye Turner

Carrie Longley, Brookville, OH, Asclepia syriaca (Common Milkweed)


Richard Shagley Award of Recognition

Atossa Rahmanifar, West Lafayette, IN, Rhapsody in Red


Sharron Jolly Award of Recognition in memory of Mrs. Betty Heine

Jeanne Garrett, Arlington Heights, IL, Healing III


Sharron Jolly Award of Recognition in honor of Sheron Dailey

Michael Neary, Lebanon, IL, News Feed #1


Elsa Morris Award of Recognition

Ramior Rodriguez, South Bend, IN, Neustra Sra. De Fosforo


Cindy Cox Award of Recognition

Fran Lattanzio, Terre Haute, IN, The Witness: Exterior


Danette Angermeier Memorial Fund of the WVCF Award of Merit

Julie Skoda, West Springs, IL, Waiting


Michael D. Buzash Annual Artistic Award of Merit

Jill Miller, Lambertville, MI, PPE


Purchase Awards:


Pi Kappa Alpha – ISU Purchase Award

James Swanson, La Grange Park, IL, Train out of Town


Gerald Traicoff, Carmel, IN, Model 1917


Indiana State University Permanent Collection Purchase Award

Eunique Rice, Cahokia, IL, Man in a Sunflower Durag


Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Purchase Award

Laurie Roussear, South Bend, IN, Just Breathe


Nancy Seidel Jones Purchase Award

Alicia Criswell, Lafayette, IN, If Only


Ellie & Richard Templeton Purchase Award

Lisa Pelo, Clayton, IN, The Sun Rises


Tonya & Brad Balch Purchase Award

Jerry Smith, Crawfordsville, IN, Heartland Chord


Ellie M. Caldwell, CPA Purchase Award

Atossa Rahmanifar, West Lafayette, IN, Rhapsody in Red