Meet CCAD’s 2020 co-Valedictorian Alayna Fogle

alayna fogle portrtait

Columbus College of Art & Design’s Class of 2020 has the distinction of having two valedictorians, each of whom is being recognized for their outstanding grades over the duration of their college careers. Both are dedicated artists and students, but each has taken their own unique path to success. Below, we focus on Alayna Marguerite Fogle (Animation, 2020). Click here to read about her co-Valedictorian, Bridgette Clifton (Studio Art with an Emphasis in the History of Art & Visual Culture, 2020).


Born in Ohio, raised in Buffalo, and now living in Michigan, Alayna Marguerite Fogle (Animation, 2020) grew up surrounded by artistic friends and relatives. Among them was her older sister, Kayleigh, with whom she spent countless hours and years drawing and writing stories together, and influencing each other’s creativity. Notably, both sisters will graduate from CCAD this spring: Alayna with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts, and Kayleigh with a Master’s of Fine Arts.

Fogle’s lifetime of doodling and playing imagination games with her sister, along with her interest in comics and video games, spurred her passion for visual art and storytelling on, and after graduating from high school, she moved with her family to Brighton, Michigan. There, she combined her love for story and art by pursuing animation at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. It was there at KVCC that Fogle met Aubrey Jewel Rodgers (Time-Based Media, 2000), Animation/Game Art Program Coordinator at the community college.

“She was an outstanding mentor and is a wonderful friend; her encouragement and kindness led me to her alma mater, CCAD. She received the Art Educator Alumni Award from CCAD in 2018 when I first came here. Needless to say, she’s been an inspiration to me ever since,” says Fogle.

After earning her associate’s degree, Fogle transferred to CCAD at the same time her sister entered CCAD’s MFA program. At both KVCC and CCAD, she earned recognition for her animation and illustration work, receiving through first- and second-place awards in KVCC’s student shows and contests, taking home the Gil and Sylvia Golde scholarship at KVCC, and receiving a scholarship from the Ohio Film Group at CCAD. She also has hosted an art show in Kalamazoo and spoke at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s 2018 “Animotion” Festival. After graduation, she plans on pursuing art residency programs in state and national parks across the country to keep her work close to nature.

Read more of what Fogle has to say below.

What would you say was your favorite or most life-changing experience at CCAD?
I directed a team project during a class where my group and I made a fun and silly card game: Grandma RPG! Seeing an entire semester of hard work become a professionally-printed, fully-fledged game is my favorite accomplishment here. We worked so hard, and I’m really proud of each one of us!

Any notable awards/projects during your time at CCAD?
I received an Ohio Film Group scholarship based on my entrance portfolio, which I’m very grateful for! Otherwise, I’m pretty deep into my senior capstone project right now—focusing on background and nature animation.

What drives you/your work?
Art is the skill I am most invested in improving—my classmates and their work, along with the many artists I follow on social media, are great sources of inspiration and motivation for me to keep making my best work. I spend a lot of my time daydreaming about stories to tell and the art I want to create; it’s only natural to act on these ideas. All of my hobbies sort of circle back into the art I make, too.

Can you talk about your creative ties with your sister?
My sister, Kayleigh, works with technology, making little working controllers for video games she develops. It’s been great for the both of us to be exploring different forms of art at the same time. We’ve always been creative together! She’s responsible for my love for textile and paper arts, too.

How has your work evolved since coming to CCAD?
I’m trying hard to find my niche in animation. At CCAD I’ve had the opportunity to explore a myriad of different aspects of the animation world. This and my relationship with the other students and faculty at the school have kneaded my art into an ever-changing shape. I think my work is a bit transient right now—I’m looking forward to what shape it will be following graduation.

How would you describe your practice now?
Ever moving forward! I’m taking steps with my senior capstone to find the niche I mentioned before. Right now I’m really into creating and animating backgrounds, especially of nature.

Favorite professors or classes while here? Why do they stand out for you?
Capstone has been a test of discipline, but I finally feel like I‘m making work that’s “me,” which is really exciting—that would have been impossible without my professors. Charlotte Belland, Bekah Nunn, Andy Friz, Jeremy Baker, and Liz Keegan (just to name a few!) have been an invaluable part of my experience here. The amount of dedication and care they all put forward for their students inspires such joy.

What does it mean to be named valedictorian of the class of 2020?
To me, it means I had the privilege of having enough time and energy to dedicate to my classwork to make my best work and meet deadlines—I’ve never missed one. I’m not downplaying my hard work and discipline, but everyone’s situation is different. There’s a lot of luck and privilege that goes into achieving this, and I recognize that.

What will you most miss about CCAD?
Being surrounded by peers and professors was a great motivating factor—there’s nothing better than immersing yourself in different kinds of art and interacting with other creators. It’s already a bit different now that we’re at home, but it’s comforting to know that distance won’t sever our relationships.

I also really miss working with Chloe Kie, our archivist, in the library. She was such a joy to work for, but she’s also just a really fantastic person.

What are you looking forward to doing next?
Making, making, making. I’ve been a “professional student” for a really long time—I’m ready to jump into my practice with a little bit more freedom for a while. There are other mediums with textiles and paper I want to experiment with as well.

Do you plan on staying in Columbus or heading elsewhere?
Heading off into the world! Aside from returning to Michigan, I’m interested in finding art residency programs across the country, even internationally, where I can spend time creating. It’s a bit murky looking forward right now with current events, but it’s important to stay flexible and optimistic.

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