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The Department of Art has been fortunate to enjoy the support of many generous and dedicated alumni and friends. Several of these benefactors have established prizes or funds for student within the department.

All competitions are judged by outside professional artists.

Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet Award

Established in 1984, the Margaret Stonewall Hamblet Award has changed the lives of many of the recipients as well as helped to build the studio art program at Vanderbilt as we know it today.

There is an endearing story behind the gift that Clement H. Hamblet established in memory of his wife, Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge.  The soon to be Mrs. Hamblet was taking a sabbatical year from her studies in studio art at Peabody College to study painting in Paris when they met and fell in love.  It was a time that they both remembered fondly for the rest of their lives.  Mr. Hamblet wanted to create a similar experience of travel and time to develop one’s art for a senior graduating from Vanderbilt.

The gift allows a graduate, who is serious about pursuing art, to travel and have time to create.  In 1984, this was a surprising gift to a department without an art major, although many students did thoughtful and interesting work over the years.  Receiving the Hamblet Award gave most of the students the confidence and the time to build a body of work to pursue graduate degrees or to develop their own art studios.

In 2005, with new facilities, additional faculty and support from the administration, Vanderbilt began to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio.  The Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet Award became an important element in the development of our art major.  The competition and the accompanying art exhibition have created a capstone experience for our seniors serving as a natural extension of a senior thesis.  The gift also enriches the senior major experience throughout the whole senior year, with guest artist visits as well as an art viewing trip to a city with a vibrant art community for all the majors.

Any graduating major in art is eligible to receive the award. Two awards are given out annually: the Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet Award ($25,000) and the Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet Merit Award ($10,000).

See past award winners for the Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet Award.

Hamblet Jurors

The annual Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet Award competition is juried by three artist/educators from outside Vanderbilt. Each year, these jurors are given the difficult task of reviewing grant proposals, thesis exhibitions, and conducting interviews with senior art major students who have selected to compete for the two awards.

Meet the jurors for the 2024 Hamblet Award.

Plaza Artist Materials Award

Plaza Artist Materials of Nashville sponsors four awards giving annually to students enrolled in an arts course at Vanderbilt. Each of the four recipients receive a $50 gift card redeemable at Plaza Artist Materials. The recipients are selected from work displayed throughout the Ingram Studio Arts Center during the annual open house celebration and exhibition.

Mid-South Ceramics Award

This annual award recognizes the top three student ceramics projects, as determined by the Department of Art.

The Allan P. DeLoach Memorial Prize in Photography

The Allan P. DeLoach Memorial Prize in Photography was established in 1998 by Mr. Rusty Edmister and Mrs. Pat Adams, in memory of their former co-worker at IBM and Vanderbilt University alumnus, Allan P. DeLoach, B.A. 1963.

Since 2009, the Department of Art has hosted many acclaimed photographers and curators of photography who jury student work and deliver lectures on a variety of themes connected to the medium of photography.

Eligibility and Requirements

The award is open to any student who has taken a studio photography class of any discipline. Students will submit one to three photographs to be judged by a professional photographer outside of Vanderbilt community.


First Place: $500

Second Place: $300

Third Place: $200