May 9, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Hunter Pope Wins Third Place at Southern Regional Honors Council Conference

Hunter Pope and her award-winning "Fetish Series."

VALDOSTA — Hunter Pope’s “Fetish Series” won third place in the juried art competition at the 44th annual Southern Regional Honors Council Conference. The award-winning photographs were captured on black and white film, in studio and on location, using a manual Pentax K1000 camera with a 50-millimeter (f/2.0) lens.

“I took ART 3071: Black and White Photography as an honors option and PSYC 3400: Abnormal Psychology in the fall,” said Pope, who anticipates graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in art, a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, and an Honors College Certificate in December 2017.

“During the semester I learned about fetishes in my psychology class and how society viewed them and the people who practiced them as abnormal, shameful, even grotesque. I began to ask myself, Who created the definition of normal? Then I developed the idea of taking the seemingly ‘abnormal’ and making it beautiful. My photographs are intended to question the idea of normalcy and challenge the viewer.”

Pope’s “Fetish Series” consisted of three 8-inch by 10-inch images that depict fetishes focused on feet, underwear, and tickling. The combination art and research project was guided by Dominick Gheesling, an associate professor in the Department of Art.

Each year the Southern Regional Honors Council Conference invites students to submit proposals that represent excellent undergraduate work. The 2016 conference, which was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Orlando, Florida, and hosted by the University of West Florida, was inspired by The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and themed “The Magic of Honors.” Honors students from 105 institutions of higher education across Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, were asked to share their best academic or creative work.

Pope, 21, is president of Alpha Chi, community service chairwoman and success networking teams coordinator for Sigma Alpha Pi: National Society of Leadership and Success, secretary/treasurer of the Art Guild, a conversation partner at the English Language Institute, and a member of the Honors Student Association, Sigma Alpha Lambda, Golden Key International Honour Society, Psychology Club, Phi Kappa Phi, and the College of the Arts Student Advisory Council. She previously served as secretary and treasurer of Alpha Chi; upperclassmen representative and secretary of the Honors Student Association; director of external affairs for Dance Marathon, which raises funds to support the Children’s Miracle Network’s Shands Children’s Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida; and a member of the Mass Choir.

A regular on the Dean’s List and a Zell Miller Scholar, Pope is the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding College of the Arts Award, presented by the College of the Arts; 2016 Bartram Award for Intellectual Exploration, presented by the Honors College; 2016 President’s Choice Scholarship; 2016 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Award; 2015 and 2016 Outstanding Bachelor of Arts Art Student Award; 2015-2016 Hugh C. Bailey Family Scholarship; 2015-2016 Bernard Linger Fine Arts Scholarship; 2014-2015 Alumni Association Endowment Fund Scholarship for Legacy Students; 2014-2015 Sallie M. Hutchinson Scholarship; 2015 Service Incorporated in Artifact Award from the Honors College; 2015 Spirit of Honors Scholars Award; 2015 Department of Art Outstanding Student Award; 2014 Honors College Service Learning Award; and 2014 Honors Student Association Freshman of the Year Award. She earned second place honors in the photography division at the 12th annual South Georgia College Art Competition and was accepted into the 2016 Tallahassee Community College Regional Juried Photo Contest and the 2016 VSU Student Juried Art Competition. She presented original research at the 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium; the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Georgia Collegiate Honors Council Conference; the 2014 and 2015 Southern Regional Honors Council Conference; and the 13th annual Art History Forum. She completed a study abroad in Ireland with the Honors College.  

Pope’s artwork is published in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 Odradek. She teaches art classes to children attending the Regional Center for Continuing Education’s Camp Discovery and recently completed a collaborative art project with patients and their families at the Pearlman Comprehensive Cancer Center. She hopes to work as an art therapist in the future and is in the process of establishing an arts-in-medicine type of program at the Department of Social Work’s My Friend’s House, where she has been working with senior citizens with special needs since January. She is currently studying how color influences mood. She is the daughter of Jessica Pope of Remerton.  

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