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Senior's 'Infinite Branches' Wins McDonald Biennial Art Competition

13 Art Students Have Works Judged for Cash Prizes

March 14, 2013

William (Class of '66) and Janet ('67) McDonald congratulate senior Eric Schroeder upon winning the McDonald Prize at the 2013 McDonald Biennial Art Exhibition.

William (Class of '66) and Janet ('67) McDonald congratulate senior Eric Schroeder upon winning the McDonald Prize at the 2013 McDonald Biennial Art Exhibition.

Eric Schroeder’s acrylic painting, “Infinite Branches,” took the first place McDonald Award and $1,000 prize in the second Janet and William McDonald Biennial Art Exhibition at Wilmington College.

The Wilmington College senior from South Salem, who is majoring in art and communication, was among the 13 art students entered in the competition. Awards were presented Wednesday (March 13) at the exhibit opening and reception at WC’s Harcum Gallery.

The show runs through March19 weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., during special evening events at Hugh G. Heiland Theatre and by special appointment arranged by gallery director Hal Shunk, professor of art.

The exhibition’s benefactors, WC alumni William and Janet McDonald, were on hand for the awards presentation.

Schroeder received a crystal and onyx trophy and $1,000 prize. Runners-up were junior Joe Ledington, who entered silkscreen prints; senior Kaitlin McMullen, acrylics and a watercolor print; and junior Erin Sanderson, acrylics.

They received certificates and $250 cash awards while those earning honorable mention, freshman Victoria Carr-Ginn and senior Sarah Young, took home certificates and $150 prizes for their acrylic paintings.

Judging the artwork was a jury comprised of Christine Berry, associate director of the Spanierman Gallery in New York City; Aimee DeGalan, curator of collections with the Dayton Art Institute; and Terry Inlow, assistant professor of art at Wilmington College.

Shunk, who presented the awards, praised the McDonalds for their vision, commitment and resources that made the Biennial Art Exhibition a reality.

“Wilmington College is blessed to have alumni doing this for their alma mater,” Shunk said. “We thank Bill and Janet for all the time and effort that goes into this exhibition.

In 2011, the McDonalds committed to funding the initial five exhibitions. The success of the first two events prompted them to announce their intentions for the Biennial beyond 2019.

“Hopefully, at the end of the fifth one, we intend to give the College the money to permanently endow the Biennial,” William McDonald said. “For Jan and me, this is just fun to do. We thoroughly enjoy it.”

The McDonalds were impressed that a crowd of more than 100 attended the opening reception and created a palpable excitement as the announcement of the top prizes commenced.

“Some of the students had a covey of friends there to support them — that was great to see — it was nice to see that kind of enthusiasm for something outside sports,” McDonald said.

“There was a healthy competitive spirit among the students in the competition, and they applauded their fellow students as they received awards.”

The judges unanimously selected Schroeder’s “Infinite Branches” for the grand prize.

“It’s unusual for three judges to agree on a winner,” McDonald added. “That certainly must have made Eric feel good about his work. I encouraged him to be even more productive and produce art outside the classroom, as well as inside.”