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Inaugural Mavigliano/Brabec Senior Art Prize to be awarded at WIU April 18

March 8, 2019

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MACOMB, IL – The inaugural Mavigliano/Brabec Senior Art Prize has been awarded after a two-round competition through the Western Illinois University Department of Art.

Silas Coggeshall, a senior art major, of Macomb, was awarded the $1,000 prize, which was funded by an endowment established by WIU alumnus George (1964) and his wife, Renee (Brabec) Mavigliano, of Carterville, IL.

The other two finalists were Shannon Lundeen, a graduate student, of Macomb and Jeana Williams, a Fall 2018 graduate in art, of Canton, IL.

The three were named finalists for the prize's second round of competition and were asked to create a display of their artwork. The first round was judged by WIU Art faculty Nov. 5, and the second round was on public view from Feb. 4-22, in the Annex Gallery on the Macomb campus.

A reception for the art prize will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday, April, 18, at the University Art Gallery. George and Renee Mavigliano will be back on campus for the reception.

Coggeshall's work will be on display after the reception and until Friday, April 26.

The Maviglianos met at Western in 1963. After Geogre received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964, the two continued their studies at Northern Illinois University. George received his graduate degree in art history, and Renee graduated in 1966 with a degree in art education.

George retired from the dean's office in the Southern Illinois University's College of Communications and Fine Arts in 1997, and has since opened Side Door Art, a book store and gallery. Renee retired in 2007 and paints full-time in her home studio.

"We returned to WIU for the first time in January 2003 to donate a portion of our art collection to the WIU Art Gallery," according to the couple. "The visit was exhilarating and reminded us of the vitality and warmth we had experienced in the art department as undergraduates, and the campus that had spawned our personal relationship 40 years previously. It was at that point that we began considering how we could make an enduring contribution to the art department and its mission."

In 2016, the couple made plans to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with an exhibition of art they had completed during their years together. This exhibition, entitled "A Shared Life in Art," traveled to WIU in February 2017.

Students interested in applying for the prize should contact the WIU Department of Art office at to receive an application.

For more information about the University Art Gallery, visit

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations