An exhibition worthy of an “ENCORE”



A colorful presentation of paintings, photographs, illustrations and sculptures was hosted by five South Dakota State seniors March 14 through March 18.

These five seniors presented the “ENCORE” exhibit last week showcasing their artwork from as early as high school.

Randy Clark, an SDSU professor who has taught Amy Hagen, Kendra Cersosimo and Mariah Clarin in graphic design major courses, said how proud he was of the work they produced. He said the exhibition was “a great representation of what they were doing” either in classes or from outside jobs.

“This was really a team effort,” Clark said. 

Hagen was commissioned as a second lieutenant for the United States Air Force and plans to serve for eight years while getting her master’s in information architecture.

One of Hagen’s pieces was from a job she did over the summer.

“I worked with program developers and other web developers on campus,” Hagen said. “We redesigned the visitor account form for InsideState (the faculty website).”

Hagen said she liked seeing all of the seniors work together. 

“It provided a good variety for audience members,” she said.

The work presented by these seniors was collected over a span of three years, mostly from their junior and senior years. For one senior, it was a collection from as far back as high school.

With a collection spanning more than four years, Grace Berckes showcased 24 pieces of her artwork. The student majoring in art education said, though happy with all of her work, she was most proud of her children’s book illustration “The Parable of the Talent Tree.” Upon graduation, Berckes hopes to publish two illustrated children’s books while teaching art for K-12 students.

“It’s an illustrated children’s book based on a story from the Bible,” Berckes said. 

She explained how her faith has a large impact on her art. 

“I glorify Him and the talents He’s given me through my art,” Berckes said.

According to the SDSU events website, Megan Stuart was an “artist-in-residence with Sanford Health, working with patients at the Sanford Children’s Hospital and the Sanford Cancer Center in Sioux Falls.” Though she started as a biology major, she soon found a knack for artistry and switched to a major in studio art. 

Cersosimo helped design apparel, catalogs and billboards for Klock Werks, a motorcycle shop in Mitchell, South Dakota, in addition to numerous postcards, advertisements, brochures and other items for the SDSU Admissions Office. 

In the future, Cersosimo wants to work for a college or university, designing promotional pieces, web images and print advertisements.

Clarin has created her own photography and design company, Mariah Elise Photography & Design. She has designed projects for SafetyFirst Playground Maintenance and photographed engagements, family events, senior sessions and more than eight weddings with eight more planned for this year. 

Clark said they are so much more than great students and talented designers.

“First and foremost is they are good people,” Clark said. 

That quality is important when pursuing design, Clark said.

Creating the pieces is a time consuming process and on top of that they took time to organize the exhibit so everything is cohesive, Clark explained, it’s very stressful. However, “they worked very well together.”

“My hat is off to these ladies,” Clark said. “They did a marvelous job.”