2021 CCAD Alumni Awards recognize six outstanding artists and designers

Nov 5, 2021

2021 CCAD Alumni Awards recognize six outstanding artists and designers

Media contact:
Leah Spellman, APR
Director of Communications
Columbus College of Art & Design
[email protected]

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) is pleased to announce its 2021 Alumni Awards recipients. Six artists and designers from around the country were recognized for their role in shaping culture and commerce and making a major impact in Columbus and far beyond. The Arts Educator Award, Commitment to Service Award, Creative Entrepreneur Award, Emerging Leader Award, Joseph V. Canzani Alumni Award for Excellence, and Core Values Award  were presented during an online event yesterday evening.

“The six recipients of this year’s Alumni Awards represent the impact Columbus College of Art & Design graduates have on the world—something we like to call Proven Potential,” said CCAD President Melanie Corn. “Not only are these artists and designers masters of their craft, but they are passionate about giving back to their communities, they are creative entrepreneurs, and they are quite literally bringing other worlds and fantasies to life. We are so proud of their accomplishments and the one thing they all have in common—that they got their start at CCAD.”

This year’s award recipients are:

Arts Educator Award

Peter Wachtel (Industrial Design, 1990) teaches architecture and product innovation design at Adolfo Camarillo High School in Camarillo, California. He was a 2019 winner of the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Teaching Excellence Prize. Wachtel, teaching after a 30-year career in the toy industry, is the former president of the Southern California Toy Association, a published author of two books on toys, and has been a toy and product designer/director at companies such as Marvel. Wachtel also taught design at the college level at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, and Otis College of Art and Design for more than 20 years. Learn more about him at coroflot.com/kidtoyology.

Commitment to Service Award

Rachael Santillan (Media Studies Still-Based, 2000) is a photographer based in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She has spent more than two decades honing her craft and has been published nationally and internationally. In 2005 she and her husband moved to North Carolina to work for a local newspaper. Santillan operates a newborn photography studio and volunteers for several organizations locally and globally. For the past 11 years she has partnered with nonprofits and NGOs around the world to document their work and help to tell their stories in an effort to gain them support. Santillan is passionate about spreading awareness about bringing aid to women and children being rescued from poverty and trafficking worldwide. Learn more at rachaelsantillan.com.

Creative Entrepreneur Award

Max Ulichney (Media Studies Time-Based, 2004) is an illustrator and animation art director based in Los Angeles whose clients include Netflix, Procreate, Marvel, Riot Games, Fantastic Beasts, Wired, ImagineFX, and 3D Total. His MaxPacks Procreate brushes are popular worldwide by professionals and beginners alike. Ulichney spent 15 years in commercial visual effects and animation, working as a supervisor and art director and commercial director. His MaxPacks business began as a side venture but quickly grew into a more flexible primary job, which has in turn allowed him to pursue a wider variety of jobs including art magazine guest articles and publishing, video content, freelance character design, and illustration. Learn more about him at maxulichney.com.

Emerging Leader Award

Kilee Price (Fine Arts, 2016) is an interdisciplinary artist and independent curator based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She received her MFA in Print Media from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and her BFA in Fine Art from Columbus College of Art & Design. Her work explores the complex relationship between individuals and the subconscious existence of neoliberalism through online social structures and media distribution. She combines cultural imagery, such as internet memes and late 90s cartoons, along with humorous exclamations of complicity and frustration, to create works that stylistically blend two and three dimensionality into painting and relief wall sculptures. In 2020, Kilee founded Stone House Art Gallery (SHAG), an independent space for emerging artists, where she curates one show per month by artists of various disciplines from across the U.S. SHAG operates on the far west side of Charlotte in a repurposed garage in the Price family’s backyard. Prior to founding SHAG, Kilee worked at the Cranbrook Art Museum, The Mint Museum, and The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Kilee returned to Charlotte in 2018, where she has taught at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and University of North Carolina Charlotte, and is a collective member at Goodyear Arts. Learn more at kileeprice.com.

Joseph V. Canzani Alumni Award for Excellence

Ron Miller (Illustration, 1970) of South Boston, Virginia, has a prolific career illustrating worlds, fictional and real, for such entities as NASA, the United States Postal Service, and the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum; such publications as National Geographic, Air & Space, and Scientific American; and such creatives as David Lynch (Dune) and David Cronenberg (for whom he created concept art for Cronenberg’s unrealized version of Total Recall). After graduating from CCAD, Miller worked for commercial art studios in Columbus and then moved to Washington, D.C. where he became staff artist for the National Air and Space Museum's planetarium. In 1997 Miller became a freelancer, specializing in scientific illustration, especially astronomy, as well as science fiction and fantasy. In addition to providing art for acclaimed national and international publications he also writes and illustrates his own books. Miller has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Lucien Rudaux Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Astronomical Art. Learn more at black-cat-studios.com.

Core Values Award

Lara Alsoudani Weeks (Advertising & Graphic Design, 2015) is an eclectic and vibrant designer who brings intense passion to every project she pursues. Understanding the need for more purposeful and relatable design, Weeks has shown a particular interest in projects aimed toward the greater good. She is the partner and art director at FRINGE22, a design and creative strategy studio with the passion for social impact serving clients like ViacomCBS, We Make the Future race class narrative campaign, Women for Women France, and the Women's Fund of Central Ohio. Prior to committing to her entrepreneurial journey, Weeks’ career has ranged from senior web designer at Lane Bryant to senior graphic designer at PNM, a boutique agency specializing in political strategy and design. Weeks takes a sincere approach when using her experience as an Arab-American to encourage the support of stronger communities by organizing fundraisers for art programs, joining the Creative Babes’ board as an advisor, serving on the Riverview International Center Board of Directors, and advocating for a more inclusive world. Learn more at fringe22.com.

CCAD has awarded the Joseph V. Canzani Award for Excellence for nearly 40 years. Starting in 2017 the college expanded its awards program to honor additional alumni each year in five categories. This year’s honorees were nominated by members of the CCAD community and the general public. To learn more and view past recipients, visit ccad.edu/alumniawards.

About Columbus College of Art & Design

Columbus College of Art & Design teaches undergraduate and graduate students in the midst of a thriving creative community in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1879, CCAD is one of the oldest private, nonprofit art and design colleges in the United States. CCAD offers 12 BFA programs, a Master of Fine Arts, and a Master of Professional Studies in Retail Design that produce graduates equipped to shape culture and business at the highest level. For more information, visit ccad.edu.