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March 03, 2014

CIA announces winners of national art + design contest

Eight high school students from across U.S. take top honors in 2D3D

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ann McGuire
Director of Communications

CLEVELAND (Ohio) – Students from Illinois, Ohio, South Carolina, and Wisconsin are being awarded cash prizes and thousands of dollars in scholarship money as winners of the Cleveland Institute of Art’s second 2D3D National Art + Design Competition. The winning artworks were selected by a panel of CIA faculty and submitted by 1,076 students representing over 450 American high schools in 42 states.

Each Best-in-Category winner receives $500 and the Best-in-Show winner is awarded an additional $2,500. All category winners are awarded valuable art supplies from contest sponsor Faber-Castell. Most significantly, each winner will receive a $10,000 annual scholarship – a total of $40,000 over four years – should he or she choose to attend CIA. 
Images of the winners’ works are posted on The winners are:

Best in Show and Best in Category/Integrated Media – “Psychosis,” a digital photograph by Michael Baer from Woodridge, IL, a junior at Downers Grove South High School in Downers Grove, IL.

“I’m still in shock,” Michael said, a day after receiving the news of his victory. He thanked his art teacher, Michelle Ross, for encouraging him to participate in the contest and helping him choose which pieces to submit. Michael is in his second year of studying photography through his high school’s art department and recently has begun experimenting with mixed media artwork that incorporates photography.

As Best-in Show winner, he will receive a set of 72 Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils in a wooden case, valued at $531.25. As Best-in-Category winner for Integrated Media, he will receive a Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen big brush gift set of 48 colors, valued at $290.00.

Best in Category/Craft – “Dark, Devious, and Daunting,” three ceramic sculptures by Scott Jones from Bryan, OH, a junior at Bryan High School. As Best-in-Category winner for Craft, he will receive a Faber-Castell PITT Monochrome graphite set in a metal tin of 29 pieces, a PITT Studio Set Monochrome, and a Castell 9000 jumbo graphite pencil set of five; all valued at $219.05.

Best in Category/Design – “My Tiny House,” a 12-foot-long by eight-foot-wide by 13-foot-tall house designed and built by Tyler Rodgers of Charleston, SC, a senior at Academic Magnet High School in North Charleston. As Best-in-Category winner for Design, she will receive a set of 48 Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer watercolor pencils in a wooden case, valued at $247.75.

Best in Category/Visual Arts – “Apiaries,” wearable sculptures by Julia Pantak of Milwaukee, WI, a senior at Pius XI High School. As Best-in-Category winner for Visual Arts, she will receive a Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen big brush gift set 48 colors, valued at $290.00.

In addition to the Best in Category winners, the following students were recognized as Jurors’ Special Merit winners and will be awarded $200 each:

  • Craft –Sabrina Kennedy of Emmaus, PA, a student at The Hill School in Pottstown, PA, for “Phoenix” (glass)
  • Design – John O'Laughlin of Meadville, PA, a student at Crawford County Career and Technical Center, for “Proton EV Car” (automotive design)
  • Integrated Media – Cristofer Goodman of Sonoma, CA, a student at Sonoma Valley High School, for “Sinking Dreams” (digital illustration)
  • Visual Arts –Emily Kofsky of Poughkeepsie, NY, a student at Arlington High School, for “Sugar Addict (painting)

CIA President Grafton Nunes congratulated all of the students who were recognized, noting that, “In a world that increasingly values the visual in how information and design are communicated, the skills and language of visual expression are becoming increasingly important.”

Faber-Castell USA CEO Jamie Gallagher joined Nunes in lauding the students. "We are delighted to have this opportunity to partner with the Cleveland Institute of Art in promoting and celebrating achievement in the visual arts."

In addition to the student prizes, one art teacher, Michelle Thompson of Jefferson High School in Festus, MO, was randomly selected to receive $1,000 worth of art supplies from Dick Blick Art Materials.

For each of the students, winning recognition in CIA’s 2D3D competition may be an important first step toward higher education and a professional career. They and their teachers recognize that studying art and design develops the creative and critical-thinking skills young people will need for the jobs of the future.

CIA’s 2D3D competition was created in 2013 to recognize talented young American artists and encourage them to pursue career paths in art and design. Winners were selected February 21 by the following CIA faculty members: Associate Professor Mari Hulick, Assistant Professor Tommy White, Associate Professor Maggie Denk-Leigh, Professor Nancy McEntee, Assistant Professor Anthony Scalmato, and Professor Matthew Hollern.

About CIA

Founded in 1882, the Cleveland Institute of Art is an accredited, independent college of art and design offering 15 majors in studio art, digital art, craft disciplines, and design. CIA extends its programming to the public through gallery exhibitions; lectures; a robust continuing education program; and the Cinematheque, a year-round art and independent film program. CIA’s public programming is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. For more information visit


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