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UT Tyler Alumnus, Art Professor Nationally Recognized for Work

May 12, 2014

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

Jason Bennett-Jenks stopped hitting me when I told him I loved himAn art professor and alumnus within The University of Texas at Tyler Department of Art and Art History have been nationally recognized for their work, Dr. Martin Slann, College of Arts and Sciences dean, announced.

UT Tyler post-baccalaureate student Jason Bennett of Cedar Park and Alexis Serio, UT Tyler associate professor of art, were both selected as Hunting Art Prize finalists for their respective oil paintings, “Jenks stopped hitting me when I told him I loved him” and “Interlacing the Hours.” There were more than 1,680 initial entries, and both made the final round of judging alongside 108 other finalists.

Alexis Serio-Interlacing the HoursThe Hunting Art Prize, which is sponsored by the international oil services company Hunting PLC, is a prestigious annual competition limited to two-dimensional paintings and drawings and open to Texas artists who are at least 18 years old.

Its $50,000 award is historically the most generous annual award in North America for painting and drawing and has helped to build the reputations, raise the profiles and support the careers of distinguished artists. The finalists and winner are determined through a two-tiered jury process.

Bennett holds a bachelor of fine arts from UT Tyler and is currently in the post-baccalaureate program in preparation for attending graduate school. Among other honors and awards, he earned “Best in Show” at the UT Tyler 2013 Student Juried Exhibition and is the recipient of the Sjoerd Steunebrink Scholarship, Will McDonald Memorial Scholarship, Patricia and Clark Hampe Art Scholarship and Harry Loyd and Jean Wilkinson Academic Endowed Scholarship in Fine Arts.

Bennett also was named to the UT Tyler President’s Honor Roll and Dean’s List throughout his undergraduate career and is a member of the UT Tyler Art Club. He plans to own a studio and teach art.

Serving UT Tyler since 2004, Serio holds a bachelor of fine arts in painting from Syracuse University and a master of fine arts in painting from the University of Pennsylvania. She also is a recipient of the UT Tyler B.J. Dub and Riter Professorship, serving a five-year term, 2009 through 2014.

An award-winning painter, Serio has an extensive national exhibition record and has shown alongside artists such as Warhol, Motherwell, Hockney and Diebenkorn. Her work has been selected for many shows with well-known jurors such as curator Janet Bishop and Dr. Richard Vine, editor of “Art in America.” She has shown in numerous venues nationwide.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 7,500 high-ability students. UT Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston.

Art Recognized: Bennett's painting (top right) and Serio's painting (bottom). Both were recognized as Hunting Art Prize finalists this year among outstanding 2-D paintings and drawings.

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