South Dakota State University junior Matthew Scott has been selected as the second-ever recipient of the Carol Hepper Foundation Award in studio art. A studio art major with a printmaking specialization, Scott receives a $5,000 scholarship for the upcoming academic year. He is from Marshall, Minnesota.
To receive the Carol Hepper Foundation Award recipients must be a junior studio art major specializing in either ceramics, painting, printmaking or sculpture and submit a portfolio of five works and a proposal demonstrating a clear plan for the award. Candidates must also focus on achievement to date and have the potential for the development of a unique vision in the visual arts. In addition, they must have the potential for success as a visual artist indicated through quality and creativity of their portfolio, a curiosity for exploring diverse practices that can enhance and bring unique meaning to their work and possessing a persistent discipline to the ongoing development of their work.
SDSU School of Design faculty members Mark Stemwedel, Shannon Frewaldt and Peter Reichardt were joined on the judges panel by Andrew Casto, a member of the school’s Van Zante Visiting Artist series and an associate professor at the University of Iowa.
The panelists stated, “It was very competitive and each student had a strong chance of receiving the award to help further support their artistic goals and projects. The committee looked for innovation, quality and growth in each of the portfolio works and discussed at length the essays of intent from each student.
“What stood out to the committee about Matthew Scott’s work is his strong connection to storytelling, quality of work and artistic growth in the fields of drawing and printmaking. His artwork displays a playfulness in subject and seriousness toward process that embodies the spirit of Carol’s manipulation of material and form. Overall, Matt’s portfolio of work expresses a desire to invent and communicate ideas and images that make us smile and question our relationship toward mythology. Outside of reviewing his artwork, Matt had a strong written proposal that was clear and specific toward realistic goals for the award.”
Scott will use the funds for a series of prints. The working title to the project is “A World in Full View.” He said each print in the series focuses in on a different perspective of this narrative they all center around. The project’s goal is visual storytelling and how that story continues on beyond the frame of each print. He will spend the summer developing the story and beginning the process of telling that story through prints.
“When they announced me as the winner, I was completely stunned, and I froze,” Scott said. “My friend had to give me a push for me to walk up and accept the award. I was competing against some incredible artists so there was no way for me to feel confident about my chances going in.
“I had a hard time even listening to the announcement I was so nervous. In the days since the announcement, it has finally been setting in that I won, and I just feel so honored,” he continued. “The award really represents opportunity and knowing what it did for last year's winner, Duncan Raney, has me feeling incredibly excited moving forward.”
Hepper ’75 was born in McLaughlin and was discovered by Guggenheim curators in the early 1980s for sculptures derived from her childhood experiences and immediate surroundings. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art; and the Guggenheim in New York. She died in April 2021.