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First chance to view college's 39th Annual Student Art Competition online

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Apr 17, 2020

For the first time, a collection of impressive creations in the College of Lake County’s 39th Annual Student Art Competition is now available online. Due to COVID-19, the student artwork is displayed in a virtual gallery since social distancing and stay at home orders prevent the community from gathering in the Robert T. Wright Community Gallery of Art on campus.  

The competition is a juried exhibit featuring painting, drawing, computer graphics, photography, ceramics, jewelry, digital media and sculpture. Students were awarded $1,900 in cash prizes, including one $500 scholarship from the Lake County Art League. The winner, Douglas McDowell, created a ceramic work (pictured) titled “SunflowerPhoto of ceramic vase in 2020 student art exhibit Yellow Planter #19.” A retired plastics engineer and Beach Park resident, McDowell has taken CLC art courses for continuing education.  

“It’s wonderful to receive recognition,” he said, adding that his inspiration for the work came after seeing a fellow student create a planter. “There are many good art students at CLC, and that includes a lot of retirees who come back each semester to develop their own niche.” 

Another student, Ivan Almazo, won a $500 Phoebe Boyd scholarship for his oil painting titled “Hope.” Other prizes include a $100 ceramic award, four $100 merit awards, four $50 honorable mentions and four $50 Emerging Artist awards. 

The juror for the show is Leisa Corbett, co-director of the Dandelion Gallery in Waukegan. In 2018 and 2019, she won an Award of Excellence for her painting from the Chicago Alliance of Visual Artists. She also received a 2018 Award of Excellence at CLC’s Recent Works exhibit. Corbett, who has exhibited her work in commercial and university galleries and juried exhibitions in Europe and the United States, holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. 

The Robert T. Wright Community Gallery of Art is committed to displaying the works of Illinois artists and increasing the visibility of nationally known artists in Lake County. Although the physical gallery is currently closed due to COVID-19, the public is welcome to view this year’s entries online, at  


About College of Lake County:  

The College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation. For more information, call (847) 543-2000 or visit