Photography Major Selected for 2023 Statewide Annual Exhibition

Published: July 19, 2023 | Author: Kol Gibson | Read Time: 4 minutes

Evelyn Roundy poses in black and white photo with camera in hand.Evelyn Roundy, a junior Photography major from Nephi, Utah, was accepted into the 2023 Statewide Annual Exhibition (SWA) for her piece “Light in Her Countenance.” Evelyn’s work, alongside those of 23 other artists, will be on display at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) in Salt Lake City until September 16, 2023. 

The SWA is an annual juried exhibition that presents a survey of current, outstanding visual art by Utah-based artists. The theme for 2023 is Mixed Media & Works on Paper, meaning entries consisted of books, drawings, screenprints, collages, combinations of materials, found objects, embroidery, audio, lights, and other media. The SWA has been an ongoing project of the Utah Division of Arts & Museums since 2009 with the aim of illuminating the broad spectrum of personal expression, ideas, stories, and passions of Utah’s artists.

Evelyn Roundy’s piece, “Light in Her Countenance,” represents her metaphorical perspective of light as knowledge. “Just as astronomers gain knowledge by observing the light that radiates, reflects, or affects other space objects, or as photographers capture light with a camera in order to preserve the present into the future, I’ve decided to apply this concept to the light in a person’s countenance and the knowledge I have gained by observing their unique light,” Roundy explains. “Sometimes light can be bent or refracted in a way that abstracts our perspective, just as our perspective of a person may not be what it seems at first.”

The subject of “Light in Her Countenance” is Roundy’s friend, Destiny Watt. The piece incorporates photos, fabric, and other materials and techniques in order to convey Evelyn’s impressions of her friend when they first met, Destiny’s feeling of being “broken” from past lived experiences, and her personality and intentions. 

'Light In Her Countenance' by Evelyn RoundyEvelyn submitted two pieces to be considered for the exhibition, but she worried that because “Light in Her Countenance” turned out to be very different from what she had initially imagined, it wasn’t good enough. When she was notified that this piece was chosen by one of the art directors from the UMOCA, she was shocked but grateful for her decision to be creative with what she had and press forward. 

“I was absolutely ecstatic when I learned that my piece had been selected for the exhibition,” says Evelyn. “I couldn’t believe it, but I was overjoyed and filled with gratitude for my professors who taught me the skills I needed and helped me along the way.”

Evelyn credits Professor Rheana Gardner-Reeves for motivating her to enter the competition and for helping her to develop the skills that led to her success. She also believes that SUU’s small class sizes helped her to develop the confidence to learn from critiques and improve her craft. “Professor Gardner could tell that I was artistic from the beginning and she noticed that I always put a lot of effort into her classes. I am glad she encouraged me to enter this competition, and I am so grateful to my classmates for encouraging me. It has been a wonderful experience!”

The 2023 SWA Exhibition is juried by accomplished artist, educator, and curator Julio César Morales from Arizona and full-time studio artist and Professor Emerita of Art, Pat Hickman from New York. With their vast array of knowledge, they will judge the submitted works and grant the following awards and cash prizes at an Artist Reception on July 28: Best in Show ($1,000), Juror’s Awards ($600), Honorable Mentions ($200), and a People’s Choice Award ($200). Patrons of the 2023 SWA are encouraged to vote for the People’s Choice Award recipient using the link on the UMOCA website.

When asked whether there was anything else she’d like people to know about her success, Evelyn said, “People really do notice your efforts, and they care about your successes. When they see your hard work, they will add their efforts to help you become even more successful! Take critiques from others and use their perspectives to better your work. Don’t ever let fear or time get in your way!”

To learn more about the Department of Filmmaking, Art, & Design at Southern Utah University, please visit


About the College of Performing and Visual Arts

The College of Performing and Visual Arts (CPVA) at Southern Utah University comprises 41 academic programs including liberal arts (BA/BS) and professional (BFA, BM, BMEd) degrees in art, design, dance, filmmaking, music, and theatre. It includes graduate programs in the fields of arts administration (MFA, MA), music education (MME), and music technology (MM). More than 60 full-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring over 900 majors in the College. CPVA presents over 100 performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year and is affiliated with the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Center for Shakespeare Studies. Southern Utah University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) making SUU the first public university in the state of Utah to be accredited by all four associations. For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, visit

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Kol Gibson