Troy University professors win National Awards
Published 2:00 am Saturday, November 7, 2015
Jerry Johnson, professor of design at Troy University, and Duane Paxson, adjunct professor, were recognized by the membership of the 2015 Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC) National Conference in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania with prestigious art awards.
Johnson received the SECAC Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement in Graphic Design and Paxson received the highly competitive 2015 SECAC Artist Fellowship.
Johnson said he was humbled by the recognition and by the fact that he was recommended for the prestigious award by a colleague.
“I have been with the SECAC for more than a decade, about 15 years, and I am familiar with the committee that made the decision and I am honored and humbled,” Johnson said.
The SECAC Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement in Graphic Design award recognizes, encourages, and rewards individuals who have been particularly successful in their design practice as demonstrated through regional, national, and international professional activities.
Beverly West Leach, Troy University lecturer and a colleague of Johnson’s said that, in the classroom, Johnson has a positive impact on training young professionals.
“The design work that comes out of his classes is truly outstanding,” said Leach who had worked for 20 years as a graphic designer in Baltimore before coming to Troy University to teach. “I can honestly say that the student work I see as a result of Jerry’s pedagogy is exemplary. His students are coming away with solid experience that will benefit them in their future careers.”
Paxson received the highly competitive 2015 SECAC Artist Fellowship. The Fellowship was established in 1981 for the purpose of supporting member artists and to encourage individual creative growth – the development of new ideas for exhibitions and creative projects.
Paxson was selected from 108 applicants and received a $5,000 grant award as well as the opportunity to present a solo exhibit at the 2016 SECAC Conference to be held in Roanoke, Virginia.
Paxson said the Fellowship means a great deal to him, personally and as an artist.
“This gives hope to ‘Neanderthals’ like me that we are still capable of winning art fellowships,” he said.
On a serious note, Paxson said he is truly grateful to SECAC and for the hard work done by the selection committee.
“There was a large pool of outstanding and worthy competitors,” he said. “I am excited to create a new body of work for the upcoming solo exhibit in Virginia.”
The 2015 SECAC Conference was held in Pittsburgh and was hosted in part by West Virginia University. SECAC is a non-profit organization that promotes the study and practice of the visual arts in higher education on a national basis. SECAC facilitates cooperation and fosters on-going dialog about pertinent creative, scholarly and educational issues among teachers and administrators in universities, colleges, community colleges, professional art schools, and museums; and among independent artists and scholars.