UNCW Student Art Invitational

An exhibit in Randall Library's Sherman Hayes Gallery celebrates studio art and more at UNCW.

On Feb. 10, Randall Library will open the UNCW Student Art Invitational, an ambitious exhibit featuring current students’ creative works, carefully chosen for the show by faculty from the Department of Art & Art History. The exhibit also includes select examples of book art chosen by the Department of Creative Writing.

The Sherman Hayes Gallery on the library’s first floor will host the exhibit, which is free and open to the public. The show, scheduled to run through May 10, was installed by artist Topher Alexander, exhibits manager for UNCW’s Cultural Arts Building Art Gallery, and student assistants.

The library has recruited three judges to evaluate the pieces – which include paintings, sculpture and other visual works – and select a “best in show.” They are Sarah Amy Kirschke, chair of the Department of Art & Art History; Sarah Barbara Watstein, University Librarian; and Bob Unchester, exhibition manager at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, N.C. The winning student’s work will be added to Randall Library’s permanent art collection and the top three finalists will receive prizes.

To expand the show’s outreach, Randall Library selected “public art” as the theme for the 2016 Flash Fiction creative writing contest, a popular annual event open only to UNCW students in any major. The library’s writing contest gives students 7 days from the time the theme is announced until submissions are due to prepare a fictional piece, 500 words or less, about the chosen topic. Judges will select three winners, who will receive cash prizes. Winning selections, as well as several runners-up, will be collected into an anthology
 illustrated by art students and produced by graduate students from the university’s Publishing Lab.

Randall Library will reveal the winners of both the Art Invitational and the Flash Fiction contest during a special reception, 6-8 p.m., April 12 in the Hayes Gallery.

“These initiatives highlight UNCW’s commitment to cross-campus collaboration,” Watstein said. “The Art Invitational showcases our students’ creativity, the Flash Fiction contest extends the applied learning experience to additional students – writers, illustrators and book publishers – and both events are supported by the expertise of the university’s faculty and staff.”

For more information about the Randall Library Flash Fiction contest, please visit

Event/Exhibit Information
February 10, 2016 (All day) to May 10, 2016 (All day)
Sherman Hayes Gallery, RL1001F