Get to know CCAD’s 2023 Outstanding Seniors
Each year, Columbus College of Art & Design faculty select a student from each major as Outstanding Senior in recognition of their respective academic and artistic accomplishments. Read more about the Class of 2023’s Outstanding Seniors—in their own words—below:
ADVERTISING & GRAPHIC DESIGN
Collin Williams is a graphic designer who specializes in illustration, hand-lettering, creative writing, and handmade magic. He arrived at CCAD with some footing in these pursuits; his introduction to graphic design came from volunteer design work for the Vandalia-Butler (Ohio) High School drama club’s playbills and posters. This soon snowballed into him attending the last two years of high school at the Miami Valley Career Technology Center—in their Graphic Commercial Art program—before taking the leap to CCAD.
Life in Columbus has brought so much that Williams is thankful for. He began his own creative practice in 2019, creating art and stationery and happy little goodies to sell online and at local markets. He also spent a year on staff at the locally renowned letterpress printing and bookbinding studio, Igloo Letterpress, solidifying his affinity for delightfully handmade charm. Williams took on more than 20 local art markets in 2022, setting up sprawling booths and working closely with local showrunners to decorate their venues. He’s also been recognized for his creative accomplishments by the Columbus Society of Communicating Arts—winning three awards of merit in student illustration, campaign, and print design, as well as best of category in student branding at the CSCA’s 2022 Creative Best Awards. In addition, Williams achieved the highest GPA for the Class of 2023, earning him the distinction of being named Valedictorian.
After graduating, Williams will be hard at work in Columbus freelancing for fantastic local businesses (feel free to hire him!), wholesaling his stationery products, and slingin’ joy at local craft markets. He’s thrilled to be starting his career on his own terms and can’t wait to continue making magical things.
Camilla Boston is a visual development artist from Akron, Ohio. Growing up, her favorite things to draw were creepy comics and animals from life. Alongside her drawings, Boston was enamored with cartoons. As a homeschooled student, Camilla’s solo journey towards her passion for animation led her to CCAD. Boston joined the Animation Student Collective her freshman year, beginning as first-year collective ambassador, then secretary, then, eventually, as ASC president. During her time with the collective, she has fostered community building through group activities and visiting artists events with animation producers, directors, and animators from Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Laika.
During her time at CCAD, Boston participated as the Visual Development Prop-Team Leader on the Born A Clown collaboration with Nickelodeon director—and CCAD alum—Pablo Smith. Boston is a mentee of Blockfort Columbus gallery, where she serves as a character designer and gallery intern for Anthem 100 show and Alley Islands 2023. Boston is also an Animation Intern for Early Interval, part of Early Music in Columbus, where she and her team are creating a performance that features live animation paired with Renaissance, Baroque, and Medieval music. After graduation, Boston is looking forward to participating in Cartoon Crossroads Columbus as a central Ohio resident before moving to Burbank, California, to pursue visual development work—specifically character and environment design for animation.
COMICS & NARRATIVE PRACTICE
Born and raised in Jane Lew, West Virginia, Presley Taylen Turner became interested in visual storytelling at a very young age. Turner was praised in their adolescence for their visual and written works, so it was only natural that Turner would combine both passions to find their way into comics and thus, the Comics & Narrative Practice program at CCAD. Now, they have completed their first self-published book as their senior capstone.
At CCAD, Presley consistently made their way onto the President’s List, worked on two issues of the school’s Spitball comics anthologies, and contributed as an exhibitor for the CCAD and volunteer at 2022's Cartoon Crossroads Columbus. Interested in self-publishing and business ownership, they've also pursued a Business minor at CCAD in hopes that they could one day own a small independent press back home.
With the knowledge and help afforded by those that they've met and worked with at CCAD, Presley plans to continue creating self-published works like their senior thesis Thicket and junior-year comic HOLE. In addition to personal works, they would like to pursue establishing a cartoonist collective of Appalachian artists in hopes to give voice to those who’ve inspired them to pursue their passion.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, Casey Immel-Brown has been obsessed with clothing and style since he was old enough to dress himself. A non-traditional student, Immel-Brown spent many years working in the fields of information technology and music before returning to school to pursue a degree in Fashion Design in his mid-thirties. Initially enrolled at San Francisco's Academy of Art University, he transferred to CCAD as a junior in 2021.
At CCAD he has focused on creating experimental and directional womenswear incorporating couture and traditional tailoring techniques. His designs also utilize techniques from other artistic disciplines like sculpture and metalworking. While in school, Immel-Brown has also explored other areas of the fashion industry, founding Mater Dolorosa, a high-end leather accessories brand, and working as a personal and editorial stylist, and as an on-set seamstress for commercial shoots. Additionally he served on the Fashion Committee for the 2022 Decorative Arts Center of Ohio Gala. After graduation he plans to seek a design position with a luxury fashion house.
FILM & VIDEO
Raised in Westminster, Maryland, Jonah Scanlan was strongly encouraged by his parents to explore his interest in art. During his school career he had several art teachers help him cultivate this love for art into a passion and a style. This love for art eventually led to photography which Scanlan pursued throughout high school and into college. Scanlan graduated from Carroll Community College in Westminster with an associate’s degree in Arts and Sciences (and made it on the Dean’s List there) before enrolling at CCAD in 2020. At CCAD, Scanlan decided to take a leap and begin his degree in film, with not much more than a passion driving him.
Through his time at CCAD, Scanlan has been able to learn a great deal about filmmaking. Projects from the college aided him in experiencing what the film industry could look and feel like. He began employment at CCAD’s Marketing & Communications department in October 2021, editing videos and shooting promotional material for the school’s social media channels and website. Scanlan’s senior capstone is a short film titled Cousin Time, which taps into the experience and information he learned from his academic career at CCAD.
After graduation, Scanlan plans on moving back to Maryland to pursue a career in film or video production. He will explore the Baltimore metropolitan area for work. He is open and willing to start anywhere, but eventually wants to be a director of photography for a production company.
Kory Albert Johnson is from Millersville, Maryland and has a background as a touring musician with his avant-garde project Albert Bagman. His videography and performance art resulted in him being awarded the Goodale Park Scholarship and Helen Winnemore Endowed Scholarship by CCAD in 2020. Before arriving at CCAD, Johnson’s creative focus was drawing and painting. Upon transferring to the college, he found himself virtually residing in the Battelle sculpture studio. His focus shifted to 3D practices using wood carving, assemblage, and metal fabrication.
Johnson combines sculpture practice with film work, developing spooky but wholesome narratives. Johnson has a concentration in Sculpture and a minor in Film & Video at CCAD. His paintings have been recognized among the creative community, and he was awarded with the 2023 Pamela Workman Endowed Scholarship & Prize.
After graduation, Johnson intends to find a position within a sculpture shop where he can help community members problem solve and develop their work, while continuing his personal art practice.
Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, a young Kaitlyn Burrows found creative expression through drawing their favorite Pokémon and other video game characters with their older sister, Emily Burrows, who graduated from CCAD in 2020 and is one of Kaitlyn’s main inspirations. The younger Burrows has followed in their sister’s footsteps since they took art classes in high school together, and the two have developed a friendly sibling rivalry when it comes to creating artwork.
Burrows’ time at CCAD will be forever remembered, as they made their friends for life in their first year living on campus, and the college also is where they discovered their passion for printmaking. Burrows honed in on their illustrative style thanks to various professors, and gained confidence through the artistic community found in Columbus. Not only were their connections important, but they made several achievements while studying at CCAD: Burrows earned a place on the President’s List every semester; they participated in various networking events, such as having a print shown in the Nostalgia show at Blockfort Columbus, being a muralist at Scrawl 16 in the Franklinton Arts District, and having work published in the Queer Printmaking Project. Burrows’ will show a selection of her silkscreen works in June in the solo exhibition Itty Bitty Kitties at Blockfort.
Following their graduation, Burrows hopes to join a printmaking cooperative where they can continue their print work. Along with the cooperative, Kaitlyn plans to illustrate for a design agency focusing on package design, apparel design, and editorial spot illustrations.
Emma Stokey has a unique perspective on art and strategy thanks to her upbringing: her father is an industrial and systems engineer and her mother is an interior designer. For Stokey, industrial design is the perfect marriage between her love for creativity and for problem solving.
Stokey's curiosity about design and innovation started early on. She spent most of her childhood creating imaginative and innovative projects thanks to her mother, who kept the house stocked with endless craft supplies. Stokey’s passion for design and problem solving was further fueled during her first year of high school after taking an “Introduction to Engineering Design” course, in which she was required to reverse-engineer and then redesign a product. From then on, there was no looking back—she’d found her calling in industrial design.
Since starting at CCAD in the fall of 2019, Stokey has had unique and irreplaceable opportunities to work and serve in the Columbus community and is excited to continue after graduation. She would like to thank the Industrial department and her professors for their encouragement and mentorship throughout her time at CCAD and is honored to have received the Outstanding Senior Award for the Industrial Design Class of 2023.
INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
Born and raised in Lewis Center Ohio, Abigail Rowland has been inspired by design from a young age. Rowland was influenced by her parents and grandparents to create freely and work hard. Her passion for creating was furthered in high school when she discovered her love for metalwork and jewelry making—and she credits her high school jewelry teacher and childhood mentor, Alison Echelberry, for believing in her creative abilities. Rowland believes that she may not be where she is today if not for Echelberry’s support and encouragement.
During her time at CCAD, Rowland focused her studies on Interior Architecture & Design. Rowland and a group of peers founded the Interior Architecture & Design Collective in hopes to create a positive and encouraging culture within the department, and to help connect students and professionals in the field. Rowland is also a student member and campus leader of International Interior Design Association (IIDA), collaborating with students and professionals around Ohio. Rowland has been recognized as a President’s List honoree throughout her career at CCAD. In addition, Rowland spent time interning with KP Designs Group and SB Home, where she gained experience in the residential design and architecture space.
Rowland knows that creative problem solving and growth will forever be an exciting part of her journey. As an aspiring residential designer, she’ll be able to transform troubled spaces to ones that spark joy and provide functionality to her clients. It’s this aspect of design that gets her excited to enter the workforce.
Sarah Yost grew up in the small farm town of Pataskala, Ohio, and her parents, Jeffrey and Regina Yost, always encouraged to express her creative identity. Dance, band, and theater were all large parts of her childhood and led her to more of a traditional art-making practice in high school. After graduating from high school in 2019, Yost came to CCAD to study photography and graphic design. During her second semester of her first year at CCAD, a global pandemic and a worldwide shutdown caused her and her classmates at CCAD to start making their work from home. Although this shutdown made art and college immensely difficult, Yost was able to push through, continuing to make art and discovering her love for documentary photography. She was eventually able to return to campus, ready to create with her fellow artists again.
Yost’s achievements from her time at CCAD include being named to the President’s List every semester, having work selected for Chroma: Best of CCAD in 2021 and 2022, and having work featured in CCAD’s Botticelli magazine for spring and fall of 2022. After graduation, Yost plans to pursue a career in photojournalism and make artwork that she is passionate about.
STUDIO ART WITH AN EMPHASIS IN THE HISTORY OF ART & VISUAL CULTURE
Raised in Akron, Ohio, River Berry learned to sew and quilt from her grandmother from an early age. She began studying art at CCAD in 2019 and fell in love with the dynamic art history curriculum that allowed her to pursue her research interests as well as her studio art practice.
During her time at CCAD, Berry has explored curating, printmaking, fiber arts, and a host of other practices. Her senior thesis paper is titled “Crafting Identity: Contemporary Craft Arts through Feminist Lenses.” She presented her research at the SUNY New Paltz Undergraduate Art History Symposium in April 2022. In her studio work, Berry centers traditions while subverting them to investigate traditional gender roles, femininity, domesticity, and the domestic space through intimate, quilted installations. She also works to carry on the legacies of past craft artists from her community by reusing materials used by her own grandmother, as well as by artist Sue Cavanaugh.
At CCAD, Berry co-founded and led the Art History Student Collective while also participating in CCAD’s Student Government Association as Vice President. This year, she received CCAD’s Gertrude Prize for Art History for her achievements, and she has been nominated for the Center for Craft’s Windgate-Lamar Fellowship.
Berry currently works at Blind Eye Art & Architectural Restoration on multiple preservation and restoration projects in Columbus and across the Midwest. After her graduation, she intends to pursue a dual masters degree in Curatorial Studies and Fine Arts.
CCAD celebrates its 144th Commencement on Saturday, May 13. Visit ccad.edu/graduation for more information.