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58th Annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show opens Feb. 16 with free reception in Cain Gallery

Juror and sculptor Mark H. Cowardin giving Art Talk on Thursday, Feb. 15, prior to Friday’s exhibit opening; national show attracted record 792 entries with 53 selected

Article by Melinda Eddleman

Now celebrating 58 years of bringing to Corpus Christi two- and three-dimensional artwork from across the United States as part of a juried exhibition, the Del Mar College (DMC) Art Program will open this year’s annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show with a reception on Friday, Feb. 16. The 2024 show attracted a record number of entries of two-dimensional mixed media and small sculptures for a combined 792 pieces with 53, or less than seven percent, selected for the highly-regarded exhibit.

Of the nearly 800 submitted artworks, this year’s juror has curated a show that explores the concepts of form, color and light as well as how those elements carry cultural significance. While some of the selected artworks tackle global concerns, such as pollution and climate change, other pieces are more introspective and reflect on dynamics of memory and personal experience.

Dr. Benjamin Ogrodnik, Assistant Professor of Art/Cain Gallery Coordinator

Sculptor and educator Mark H. Cowardin served as juror for the 2024 show, choosing an exhibit that represents the work of 50 artists from 18 states, including 22 artists from Texas (four from Corpus Christi) and 28 from other states even as far away as Hawaii.

The show includes 25 sculptures and 28 mixed media pieces.

The FREE Feb. 16 opening reception for the 58th Annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show is 6 to 8 p.m. in the Joseph A. Cain Memorial Art Gallery, which is located in the Fine Arts Center on the Heritage Campus, 101 Baldwin Blvd. (78404). Get online directions and campus map.  The reception includes food catered by Citrus Bistro, along with a cash bar. 

Note: Click on the photos to expand, read cutlines and download.

The event also features the announcement of the three Purchase Awards Cowardin selected from among a strong and diverse lineup of work for inclusion in the Del Mar College Permanent Collection.

Sculptor Mark H Cowardin_Art Talk

In addition to the opening reception, Cowardin will present an Art Talk on Thursday, Feb. 15, from 11 a.m. to noon in Richardson Performance Hall, which is also located on the College’s Heritage Campus. He will cover his own artwork, perspectives and insights as an artist.

Every year, a distinguished artist in his or her own right is asked to select the pieces that will make up the juried exhibition; and for the 2024 national show, Cowardin, an Associate Professor of Art with Johnson County Community College in Kansas, has filled that role. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arizona as well as his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas.

As a native Midwesterner, Cowardin’s sculptural work centers on the complex relationship to natural resources that the country’s Midwest embodies. His work resides in many private and public collections, including the John Michael Kohler Art Center, Kohler Corporation, tNerman Museum of Contemporary Art and Rockhurst University.

Laura Konecne_White Bean

His selections for Del Mar College’s 58th Annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show will remain on display through May 1. Cain Gallery hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. until noon. (The gallery will be closed during Spring Break March 11-15.)

The College’s National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show began in 1966 with the vision of founder Joseph A. Cain, who was an artist, writer, educator and former U.S. Marine. He served as the DMC Art Department’s chair until his death in 1980. (Access a past release to learn more about Cain.)

Questions about the Feb. 15 Art Talk, Feb. 16 opening reception or the national show may be directed to the DMC Art Office at 361-698-1216 or art@delmar.edu.

Individuals can also visit the Cain Gallery web page at delmar.edu/gallery.


(Shown on the main page rotator and at the top of this page is a portion of “Love Birds,” a 16” by 13.5” collagraph, color treta pak two-dimensional piece by artist Kevin Gonzalez.)



About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.