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News . Feature Stories . CIA Students Nab 3 Awards in Ohio Arts Competition


March 01, 2011

CIA Students Nab 3 Awards in Ohio Arts Competition

Wendy Birchfield, Katherine Richards, and Rachel Shelton have won three of the six 2011 AICUO Awards for Excellence in the Visual Arts.

CIA Students Nab 3 Awards in Ohio Arts Competition

The Cleveland Institute of Art has become the first college ever to have all three of its nominees selected as award winners in the AICUO Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts (EVA). With a record number of entrants for the fourth annual EVA competition hosted by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO), the three CIA students are among a group of six winners who will compete for the $2,500 grand prize.

This competition recognizes outstanding senior artists from independent colleges throughout Ohio who compete for a Grand Award. Award winners Wendy Birchfield ’11, an industrial design major from Parma Heights; Katherine Richards ’11, a painting major from Chagrin Falls; and Rachel Shelton ’11, a printmaking major from Amherst, NY, submitted portfolios of their artwork to a panel of independent college faculty, community artists, art journalists, and state legislators.

Shelton said of her work, “It focuses on the critical issues of the human relationship to nature—a product of my significant personal concern over the environment.” And when asked how she reacted to the news, “That the AICUO committee has recognized these concepts as important is encouraging, and I am honored to be included as a finalist in this year’s competition.”

The three award winners will exhibit their work (which will be for sale) during a reception on April 13 at Ohio Wesleyan University, where the Grand Award winner will be announced. A People’s Choice Award winner, as chosen by public vote online, will also be revealed. Prior to the reception and awards announcements, the student award winners will participate in a panel discussion, which is also open to the public, at 4:30pm in the R. W. Corns Building. Discussing their inspirations, their academic experiences, and their career aspirations, the students will offer candid views of art in their lives.

Artwork from all the nominees is available for viewing on the awards website,

Pictured: Wendy Birchfield and Rachel Shelton

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