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March 16, 2015

CIA announces winners of national art + design contest

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ann McGuire
Director of Communications


CLEVELAND (Ohio) – Jurors have awarded students from 10 states—including Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin—thousands of dollars in cash and scholarships in Cleveland Institute of Art's 2015 2D3D National Art + Design Competition. The winning artworks were selected by a panel of CIA faculty, from entries by 1,635 students representing over 450 American high schools in 39 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.

The 2015 Best in Show winner is Sophia Anthony, a senior at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas, for her still life painting, “Baroque Feast.”

“This was just thrilling,” Sophia said of hearing the news of her award. “I couldn’t believe that out of all these entries from all over the country that it was me who got chosen.” She said her entry is based on the trompe l'oeil paintings of the Baroque period, with their photographically realistic depictions of three-dimensional objects or scenes. “It was one of my first times using oil paint. I wanted to mimic the sumptuousness and richness of the Baroque still life paintings,” she said.

Sophia succeeded, in the opinions of the CIA faculty members who served as jurors.

In addition to cash awards and scholarships, each of the four category winners is awarded more than $200 worth of high quality art supplies from contest sponsor Faber-Castell, including a 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. The winners are:

  • Best in Show and Best in Category/Visual Arts – “Baroque Feast,” by Sophia Anthony, a senior at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas. In addition to the supplies listed above, as Best-in Show winner, Sophia will receive a set of 72 Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils in a wooden case, valued at more than $500.
  • Best in Category/Craft – “Boss Mar,” by Jane Tierney of Greer, South Carolina, a junior at Fine Arts Center
  • Best in Category/Design – “Figure Drawing Dress,” by Zihan Zhou of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, a senior at Pius XI High School
  • Best in Category/Digital Arts – “Writer's Block,” by Katey Ladika of Windber, Pennsylvania, a senior at Forest Hills High School.

In addition to the Best in Category and Best in Show awards, jurors offered a Juror's Special Merit Award and Runner-Up Awards in each of the four categories: Craft, Design, Digital Arts, and Visual Arts.

 The following students were recognized as Jurors’ Special Merit winners and will be awarded $200 each:

  • Craft: Thanh Vy Nguyen of Carrollton, Texas, a senior at Creekview High School
  • Design: Kelsie O'Mara of Topeka, Kansas, a senior at Washburn Rural High School
  • Digital Arts: Rona Ahdout of Irvine, California, a senior at University High School
  • Visual Arts: Nicholas Raley of Baltimore, Maryland, a senior at Carver Center for Arts & Technology

An online exhibition of the winning works, and those given Honorable Mention, is viewable at

CIA President Grafton Nunes congratulated all of the students who were recognized. “The degree of skill, creativity, and discipline evidenced by this year’s winning artworks is impressive. The students who have won recognition in 2D3D this year should be very proud of themselves. I encourage them to continue to develop their skills and artistic voices. Their school art teachers are to be commended for the superb job they have done guiding their students to produce such stellar work.”

In addition to the student prizes, one art teacher, Lauren Cunningham, from Fort Worth Country Day High School in Fort Worth, Texas, was randomly selected to receive $1,000 worth of art supplies.

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 in late February by the following CIA faculty members: Associate Professor and Industrial Design Department Chair Dan Cuffaro, Instructor Anthony Ingrisano, Assistant Professor and Drawing Department Chair Sarah Kabot, Professor Nancy McEntee, Assistant Professor Anthony Scalmato, Technical Specialist and adjunct faculty member Amy Sinbondit.

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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