The Maier Museum of Art
at Randolph College

The Helen Owen Calvert Writing Competition

The intent of the award is to recognize excellence in writing that responds to or interprets works of art in the Maier collection. Each year, the department of art, the department of English, and the Maier Museum of Art invite all Randolph College students to submit creative or academic writing inspired by one or more artworks in the Randolph College collection.

The award was established in memory of Helen Owen Calvert, by her family. Mrs. Calvert was a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and the mother of one of the Maier Museum’s former curators of education, Doni Guggenheimer.



How to Submit

Email as an attachment to with the following in the email:

2024-2025 Academic Year Submission Deadline: To be announced.

Questions? Contact curator of education, Laura McManus
(434) 947-8136, ext. 5

Past Recipients

Alison Saar, Backwater Blues (detail)2024

Blackwater Hue: An Ode to Backwater Blues
by Sonia Langhorne ’25

2023Thomas Moran, 'View of Venice, 1894, oil on canvas board, Collection of the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College.

Bridging the Romanticized and the Realistic in Thomas Moran’s View of Venice
by Grace Duckworth ’23


2022Grant Wood, March, 1939, lithograph on paper, Collection of the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College

Spotlight Tour Script: Grant Wood’s March
by Emilie Bryant ’22


No award granted in 2021.

No award granted in 2020.

2019Thomas Hart Benton, Running Horses, 1955.

Freedom: The Price of Advancement
by Victoria Harris


No award granted in 2018.

2017J. H. Witt, Untitled (Figures in Landscape), N.D. Oil on Gray-Board. 14 ¼ x 20 ¼ in.

Untitled (Figures in a Landscape): Influenced by Impressionism
by Melissa Vandiver ’19


2016Launching the Boat

by Hannah Edwards ’16


2015Andrew Wyeth, Burning Off

by Katy Boyer ’16


2015Kukuli Velarde, Letter to My Father, 2005, acrylic on steel.

Your Suicide Note
by Grace Gardiner ’15


2014Peto, Violin, Fan, Books

The Memorial
by Jordan Long ’16