CCAD grad wins with Cleveland Cavaliers

Columbus College of Art & Design alum Jay Wallace (Illustration, 2012) has created designs—primarily apparel—for the National Basketball Association’s Cleveland Cavaliers, the National Football League’s Cleveland Browns, and Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew. It’s work could hardly have dreamed of as a kid growing up in Cleveland. 

As a child, he told Cleveland news station WKYC, he loved to draw, but didn’t know of many career opportunities for Black artists and designers. However, he knew he wanted to pursue his passion for art, and with his mother’s blessing, he headed to CCAD after high school graduation to learn and refine his talents. 

After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from CCAD, Wallace returned to Cleveland, ready to get the ball rolling on his career. And after sharing his work on social media, Wallace landed assignments with the Browns and the Crew. Eventually, he was hired by the Cavs, where he now works as Retail Graphic Designer. In this role, he designs “T-shirts, hats, shooting shirts—basically, anything that fans wear, players wear, there is a good chance that I was a part of it,” he told WKYC in an interview as part of the channel’s “Black Light” series for Black History Month in February 2021.

Wallace recently collaborated with Cavs Artistic Director and artist David Arsham on a large-scale mural for Sherwin-Williams’ global headquarters in Cleveland. He expects more big projects to come.

“Coming out of the pandemic, I’m pretty sure every city is going to be in some type of resurgence … and I just want to be a part of that,” he told WKYC. And that’s not all: Wallace also aspires to use his talents for out-of-state and national brands, reported the broadcaster.

Watch the full interview on WKYC here.

Learn more about the Illustration program at CCAD or apply here.