Nicholls Art Student Earns Best in Show from National Exhibit

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University Art student Lila Thomas (BA ‘21) received Best in Show at a national gallery held earlier this summer.

The Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center in Cincinnati selected Thomas’s oil painting, “Sunday Afternoon” for their national exhibition, Rites of Passage. The exhibit ran from May 28 through June 25.

“It is truly gratifying to receive accolades for the hard work I put into my art,” Thomas said. “To be nominated along with winning the Rites of Passage exhibition is an extreme confidence boost as an upcoming artist.”

The gallery reviewed 201 submissions from 66 artists representing 48 academic solutions. The gallery featured 15 pieces from 11 different artists. Among the institutions represented are the University of Mississippi, the School of Visual Arts, CSU-Long Beach, the Art Students League of New York, BYU, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Ohio University, among others.

“This award speaks to the strength of Lila as an artist and to the caliber of education students receive in the Nicholls Art department,” said Joseph Holsapple, associate professor of art. “Her award is yet another demonstration that our students can compete with schools across the nation. It is always satisfying to have the quality of our education acknowledged by an outside institution, especially within the context of a nationally juried exhibition.”

Since 2005, the Rites of Passage exhibits held at the Manifest Gallery have supported student excellence by offering a venue for young artists to display their creativity. The gallery awarded Thomas $500 for her award.

For more information on Nicholls Art, visit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, July 21, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print