Student Art of Illustration Show in 16th Year

March 15th, 2013 by Katlin McNally
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The 2013 Art of Illustration poster, created by student Taylor Hawkins

The 2013 Art of Illustration poster, created by Illustration senior Taylor Hicks

The Art of Illustration show is a student-run and -organized exhibition that is now in its 16th year. The juried show features illustrations from all majors and alumni who participated when they were students are now coming back to act as jurors.

This year the five Illustration student organizers included sophomore Haleigh Richards and seniors Lexie Holliday, Josh Parkinson, Wes Talbott, and chair Andrew Thompson. The students chose five judges to look over 291 submissions for the show that runs March 16–30. The judges included four CCAD alumni: Scott Hull (Advertising & Graphic Design 1977), Steve Prescott (Illustration 1995), Jason Jourdan (Illustration 1998), and Graham Erwin (Illustration 2011). The fifth judge was artist representative Frank Sturges.

The judges gathered on campus and spent the day going through submissions, offering thorough critiques and advice on every piece, whether accepted or not. Ultimately 40 submissions were accepted into the show.

“The show is and has always been entirely organized and run by the students,” said Stewart McKissick, Illustration professor and alumnus. “They selected and contacted the judges, organized where and when the judging would take place, and researched and collected donations for the opening reception at the gallery, as well as prizes for entry winners.”

This is the third year for the show to be held at Rivet Gallery, a gallery located in Columbus’ art district, the Short North.

“Rivet has been very generous to us, allowing students to sell their work from the show with no commission fee to the gallery,” McKissick said.

Having the exhibition at an off-campus external location for the last three years has allowed it to function as a professional, juried show.

Erwin, who does preproduction work and design for a custom screen printing shop and freelance illustration for a wide range of clients, has witnessed the show expand as a student and now as an alumnus.

“I first submitted work for AOI as a sophomore,” Erwin said. “Although my piece wasn’t chosen that year, it definitely lit a fire for the years to come, and I began approaching every piece as if it could be a submission for one competition or another. I continued to submit work my junior and senior years, where I had pieces accepted and awarded.

“The Art of Illustration show was an important part of my illustration training,” Erwin said. “It was my first experience where my work was looked at by professionals with a critical eye. I think it is important for the show to now be held at Rivet, where students can see their work in a real-world gallery setting.”

The show allows students the ability to access professionals to evaluate their work and have critiques by people other than their peers and professors.

“This process shows students the importance of submitting and getting their art into the real world,” Hull said. “And also accepting the rejection that may come along with this.”

Hull, founder of Scott Hull Associates and illustration representative, has worked as a juror twice now for the show and views helping out students at CCAD as highly rewarding.

“Helping young talent navigate their creative dream is a passion of mine,” Hull said. “I think it is a good practice to have alumni come back as jurors for this particular show, since they are able to understand the CCAD culture a little better and they want to offer any and all help to the students.”

Originally, the show was solely coordinated by Illustration students, and they were the ones submitting work, but as the show has grown so has participation from throughout the college.

“What’s exciting to see is the ever-increasing interest and participation now by the majority of our majors,” McKissick said. “It is an excellent leadership opportunity for the students who work on the committee, and it is a chance to have students learn about aspects of the art world beyond just the making of it.”

The show’s award ceremony was held during its opening reception March 16, 7–10 p.m. Selected work will be honored with first, second, and third place, and each judge selected a work to be awarded Judge’s Choice. The show will be up through March 30.

“I can honestly say that every year is another great memory for us,” McKissick said. “And we’re always very proud of what the students accomplish.”

Erwin is from Columbus and attended Whetstone High School; Hull is from Danville, OH, and attended Danville High School; Jourdan is from Mansfield, OH, and attended Mansfield Senior High School; McKissick is from Franklin, PA, and attended Franklin High School; Prescott is from Gates Mills, OH, and attended Mayfield High School.

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2 Responses to “Student Art of Illustration Show in 16th Year”


  2. liveIntent says:

    That was great!