The Brass Ring Awards, a national art competition, was hosted on Oklahoma Christian University's campus on March 28 in Judd Theater.
This competition began in 1985 having 85 entries from seven different universities. This year's competition was the second largest in the 23 year history.
A total of 949 entries were submitted from 22 universities and 17 high schools coming from 18 different states.
This year about 300 people attended the presentations. The Brass Ring Awards was created to give students a chance to compare their work with their peers' and to have their work assessed by professionals.
Students can submit work in 18 different categories for various amounts of cash prizes.
Senior Joshua Burgin is a graphic design major with an illustration emphasis. This was his third year to participate in the Brass Ring Awards.
In the past, he has received first and third place. This year, he had two pieces place first and second. Burgin described his unusual yet creative approach to one of his pieces that placed.
"My first place piece was called 'The F word Campaign.' It is a campaign that encourages citizens to be aware of the affects of the constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights, and how it not only protects but makes our everyday lives possible," Burgin said. "I wanted to approach this campaign with a sense of humor and get people to stop and question it. So every tagline says something like, 'I use the F word too…' and catches the reader, associating it with something the imagery from the 50's would never say. When you finally read the bottom, it explains that the F word simply stands for freedom and whatever activity they are completing is made possible by an amendment."
Junior Philana Phillips is a new media major with a concentration in math, computer and information sciences.
This was her first year to enter anything into the competition and she ended up getting a first place prize.
"It was a color illustration of a peacock with a woman's face. We had to show a combination of animal and human characteristics, so I chose vanity, going along with the old adage 'proud as a peacock,'" Phillips said.
Phillips said she was taken aback by receiving first place.
"I was completely surprised. The color illustration category is one of the categories that has the most entries and my major deals mainly with computers, not drawing. I knew I had placed somewhere, and I kept expecting my name to come up way before they got to first place. So when it didn't I was excited but shocked," Phillips said.
Sophomore Terra Tuerck is a graphic design major and had entered a piece before in high school but never placed.
This year, she received a second place prize.
"My piece was a poster about the need for trees in our cities. It was inspired by a project that we were assigned in Introduction to Advertising that I reworked after the class was over," Tuerck said.
Junior Dylan Conklin is a graphic design major with a concentration in illustration.
This was Conklin's first year to enter a piece but he attended last year and couldn't wait to submit something this year. Conklin won a second place prize for a newspaper/magazine advertisement for a local company called Skulls Unlimited, a company also featured on the show "Dirty Jobs."
Conklin also had a humorous piece place third.
"I also won third place in the category of black and white illustration. It depicted a pet peeve of mine – when people who are so dependent on their phones they become useless," Conklin said. "I was ecstatic to know that my work had been chosen out of other student's work statewide and nationally."
Burgin was surprised at the announcement of awards.
"It always amazes me when something I create is put in a pile with many other beautiful things and pulled out as something worth recognizing. I am always humbled by that and can only give God the glory for the gifts he has allowed me to use," Burgin said.