Art Club to Feature Annual Student Competition

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Nov. 12, 2013 – The Coker College Art Club’s annual student exhibition begins with a reception at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18. Merit awards and prizes will be presented at the opening, and light refreshments will be served. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

The 41st Annual Student Competition will exhibit a selection of the best student work from the past year. The exhibition is open for viewing through Nov. 26.

Coker’s annual student exhibition is designed as a competition and includes entries from beginning through advanced students. This year, the judge will be John Rise, a professional artist whose paintings are currently on exhibit in the Cecilia Coker Bell Gallery.

Rise will select the pieces to exhibit, assign places and award prizes that have been donated by art manufacturers and suppliers. Judges for these shows are given free reign regarding a show’s size and focus, and the resulting shows have ranged from large and inclusive to small, theme-oriented exhibitions. As with all independent judges, Rise’s choices may support the opinions of faculty and peers, but his choices may also run counter to some of those opinions. In either case, this selection process has always served as a stimulus for critical discussion.

Rise received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drawing from Arizona State University as well as a Master of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico. While pursuing his master’s degrees, Rise taught drawing and painting classes at the University of New Mexico, first as a graduate assistant and later as an adjunct professor.

Since 2005, Rise has taught drawing at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he was awarded the 2010-11 Vulcan Materials Company Teaching Excellence Award for his outstanding contributions to undergraduate education, student learning and campus life.

The Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery is located in the Gladys C. Fort Art Building on the Coker College campus. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, while classes are in session. It is located in the Gladys C. Fort Art Building.

For more information about the gallery, contact gallery director and assistant professor of art Larry Merriman at 843-383-8156, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit

Coker College upholds and defends the intellectual and artistic freedom of its faculty and students as they study and create art through which they explore the full spectrum of human experience. The college considers such pursuits central to the spirit of inquiry and thoughtful discussion, which are at the heart of a liberal arts education.

Image by Kara Suttle


Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

For more information, contact Chris Dougherty - 843.383.8018

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