The show must go on … DMC Art Program’s 55th National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show now available for online viewing

Robin Bradshaw
Nueces Country Record Star

Pandemics and winter storms can’t stop the Del Mar College (DMC) Art and Drama Department from curating the annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show. A juried exhibit that attracts entries created by artists from all over the United States and features two- and three-dimensional works, the show marks its 55th year of bringing exceptional artwork to the Coastal Bend. 

The juried exhibit features 58 works selected from 612 entries submitted from across the country.

Joseph A. Cain Memorial Art Gallery 2021 National Art Show.
Established in 1966 by the late Joseph A. Cain, who served as Art Department Chair from the early 1960s through 1980, the national exhibit attracts exceptional work by artists from across the United States.

The national show also attracts jurors who are nationally or internationally known artists themselves. This year’s juror is Robbie Barber, Professor of Sculpture with the Art and History Department at Baylor University, who has exhibited his own work across the country and even in Japan. 

This year’s selection for the $3,000 Joseph A. Cain Purchase Award is artist Nate Ditzler’s sculpture, “Unreal Weather.”

“I was super excited to be asked to jury the 55th Annual National Small Drawing and Sculpture Show at Del Mar College. I have known about this show since first coming to Texas in 1994 as a young whipper-snapper,” Barber wrote as part of his Juror’s Statement. “This show has always had a strong reputation as a high-quality refereed exhibition, featuring an excellent list of distinguished past jurors. It really is an honor to be part of that list now.” 

Displayed in the Joseph A. Cain Memorial Art Gallery through May 7, the exhibit features 58 works––29 drawings and sculptures each––that Barber selected from the 612 entries submitted for this year’s competition. 

Barber said jurying the exhibit was a challenge, “especially given the obstacles this year in relation to the pandemic and the recent extreme snow and ice storm that affected all of Texas.” 

But, the task was accomplished. 

Individuals can view the online slide show at The exhibit catalog is also available at

Usually, the juror presents a guest lecture while in Corpus Christi to jury the national show. This year’s lecture by Barber is provided as a video available at

The Art and Drama Department and the College’s White Library purchase the juror’s top selections for their collections each year. The 2021 top three awardees are Nate Ditzler’s “Unreal Weather” as the $3,000 Joseph A. Cain Purchase Award, Jeffie Brewer’s “Pink Chicken” as the $3,000 White Library Purchase Award and Andrew DeCaen’s “Little Kitchen Situation 7” as the $1,500 Permanent Collection Purchase Award.  

Works selected as Honorable Mentions are “Obscure Instrument for Geomancy” by Conan Chadbourne, “Evil Guy” by Michael Ehlbeck, “Babble 2020” by Jack Gron, “Circus Orbis Souvenir Print: Elephant Man and Lola” by Beauvais Lyons, “Concrete Kayak” by Gregory Reuter and “She Thought She Was Invincible” by Teresa Shields.  

Barber’s thoughts about serving as this year’s juror: “Jury an art exhibition? That sounds easy, right? That is until you actually do it. It was not easy, as there were many excellent works submitted to this exhibition. I would compare it to a foot race. The closer you get to the end, the more difficult it is to reach the end! The final cut took many hours of deliberation on my part and intense attention to detail.” 

This year’s selections make the 55th National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show well worth viewing … even if it’s online.

For more information about the national show or Barber’s lecture, contact the Art Program at  

Top pieces are purchased by the Art Program and William F. White, Jr. Library for their collections with this year’s $3,000 White Library Purchase Award going to artist Jeffie Brewer for his sculpture titled “Pink Chicken.”
This year’s $1,500 Permanent Collection Purchase Award is artist Andrew DeCaen’s drawing, “Little Kitchen Situation.