Barry McNamara  |   Published November 22, 2022

Best of Show, Part II

Keeling takes second top honor in three years in Monmouth College student art exhibit.

BEST OF SHOW: Satyr Keeling's winning work is titled Deflowered.BEST OF SHOW: Satyr Keeling's winning work is titled "Deflowered." MONMOUTH, Ill. – Over the course of three academic years, three different jurors have seen Satyr Keeling’s artworks and come away impressed.

For the second time, a piece by Keeling earned the Best of Show honor at Monmouth College’s Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition. The works are on display in the Len G. Everett Gallery on the upper level of Hewes Library through Dec. 7.

Keeling won as a sophomore, also taking home the top honor in drawing. Last year, the senior from St. Louis received the Juror’s Choice award. This year, it was back to Best of Show for the work “Deflowered.”

“This is one of my most symbolic pieces to date,” said Keeling of the intricate colored pencil drawing on Bristol paper. “I wanted it to look like a still-life painting full of symbolic items to match my idea. The main theme for this piece is to capture how it feels to be groomed as a child. I wanted the viewers to see a romantic piece with gorgeous diamond earrings in the center, but as they look closer they can see the nasty things hidden around the gift.”

Those “nasty things” include cigarette butts, insects and a pair of black widow spiders.

“All of the bugs have symbolism, such as listening to your intuition and being careful with who you trust,” said Keeling. “The white roses represent purity and innocence, but since they are dead and wilted, it helps the audience understand how the subject is feeling.”


“I try to add in every color I can see and I push the pencils down pretty hard to get that shininess on the paper. I worked on it a couple times a week but mostly finished it the night before it was due in ‘Junior Critique.’” Satyr Keeling

Keeling said layering the colored pencil was part of a lengthy creative process that ultimately consumed most of a semester.

“I have all of my reference images on my laptop so I can zoom in and see the colors that are in the photos,” he said. “I try to add in every color I can see and I push the pencils down pretty hard to get that shininess on the paper. I worked on it a couple times a week but mostly finished it the night before it was due in ‘Junior Critique.’”

JUROR'S CHOICE: This self-portrait by Jennie Nichols earned one of the other top honors at th...JUROR'S CHOICE: This self-portrait by Jennie Nichols earned one of the other top honors at the College's Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition. Keeling said he’s grateful to be recognized for his talent.

“These awards mean a lot to me because it shows that even people that I have never met have looked at, analyzed and even admired my artwork,” he said. “My peers and I consider each other playful rivals. We love to joke about who should win what, and we drive each other to continue to create bigger and better things.”

Beyond graduation, Keeling said he doesn’t have many “concrete plans, as I am still finding new things that interest me.”

“In the past semester alone, I’ve picked up interests in botany, theatre and ceramics,” he said. “I would like to travel to different places, make important and interesting art, and try new things. I would like to participate in more plays, enter more art shows and take time to focus on growing as a person. My time at Monmouth has been extremely eye-opening for me, and I feel as though I have more to learn before I make any big decisions regarding my future.”

Other award-winners from the show were:

• Juror’s Choice Award: Jennie Nichols ’23 of Galesburg, Illinois
• Clay Award: Eli Douglass ’24 of Cary, Illinois
• Painting Award: Grace Cornelius ’24 of Warrenville, Illinois
• Photography Award: Elikem Ogba ’24 of West Orange, New Jersey
• Design Award: Charlie Conkle ’24 of Morton Grove, Illinois
• Mixed Media Award: Z Kendall ’24 of Rock Hall, Maryland
• Drawing Award: Barton Rodriguez Jr. ’24 of Aledo, Illinois
• Sculpture Award: Jeffrey Garrett ’23 of Aledo, Illinois

Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p><strong>Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Pi Beta Phi, the first such collegiate women’s organization, was founded at Monmouth in 1867. It was followed three years later by Kappa Kappa Gamma. The two pioneering organizations today boast a total of 275 active chapters nationwide.</strong></p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Preparation</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthscots.com/" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/offices/global-engagement/" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/academics/only-at-monmouth/educational-garden-farm/" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>