SUU student wins local artist contest

Southern Utah University student Jalynn Lunceford won one of the two Deal Galaxy Guru art contest grand prizes—a $250 check for her reimagining of the store’s logo where she made the owner a Jedi.

“It’s surreal,” the sophomore anthropology student said upon winning. “I was surprised and honestly just really excited. There was a lot of amazing art, especially logo designs so I can imagine it was a hard decision.”

Once the winners were announced, numerous attendees went up to Lunceford to talk to her about her art.

“I don’t get asked about my art a lot and about the details I put into it,” she said. “It was really amazing that I could explain to people better about what they were seeing in my art and answer their questions. I could see for some people it really helped them understand just what my art is about.”

Lunceford plans to continue art upon graduating and incorporating it into work—becoming an orthopedic pathologist and creating scientific illustrations to demonstrate her research while working with museums and other researchers. Her work often is done in black and white and incorporates flowers for their meanings. 

The first person she told about the achievement was the owner of Octopus Apothecary, Ty Veri, who sponsored the contest and was unable to attend the award gala due to being sick with pneumonia.

“[Veri] sent me a video saying how proud he was of all of us and wished he could be there,” Lunceford said. “It meant a lot to me that he sent a video even while being so sick. I also texted my mom and nana who were at work and they were really excited for me. We got celebratory tacos after.”

Lunceford plans on using the prize money on “nothing fun.” Likely, it will go towards future class fees, a full tank of gas and “some new graphite pencils just to splurge.”

“I’m really grateful for Deal Galaxy Guru for putting this together. We got a huge turnout of amazing artists and even a bunch of my friends competed,” Lunceford said. “It’s so refreshing to see the art community come together in collaboration with the local businesses and it creates an amazing relationship among the people that we need. I really hope in the future it will continue to grow and we can continue to see amazing local art take off.”

Deal Galaxy Guru plans to hold contests like this continuously in the future. JR Jaramillo, the shop’s owner, said that they “definitely found some stars” and that “[Lunceford] deserved to win.”

Lunceford’s art can be found @saint.of.stars on Instagram.

Article by: Scum Hellebore
Photos courtesy of