In the late 1970s, the USI Bookstore initiated funding for a purchase award for the USI (then ISUE) Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition held each spring on the USI campus. Over the years, individuals and businesses contributed monies to purchase additional student artworks from the annual student exhibits, all of which then become part of the USI Art Collection. The current exhibit features a selection of 48 purchase awards by 47 artists, chosen in student shows from 1978 to 2010. The artworks are created in a wide variety of art media, from oil paintings and charcoal drawings to ceramic and steel sculptures.
The various donors are identified on the title cards and the Art Department is most grateful for their generous support. Additional purchase award artworks are on display throughout the USI campus. A list of them and their locations are available at the McCutchan Art Center/Palmina F. and Stephen S. Pace Galleries and the public is encouraged to seek out these artworks as well during their visit.