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April 09, 2015

CIA Biomedical Art major wins Award for Excellence in Visual Arts

Contact: Ann McGuire
Director of Communications

CLEVELAND (Ohio) – Cleveland Institute of Art student Catherine Stanley is one of six winners of the Award for Excellence in Visual Arts (EVA) presented by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO). A Biomedical Art major, Stanley was nominated by her department chair, Associate Professor Thomas Nowacki. She submitted a portfolio of work for judging.

Stanley’s portfolio was based on educational illustrations, including illustrations of medical procedures and animal anatomy. In her artistic statement, she wrote, “It is important that I am able to use my art to help others by furthering education in scientific and medical topics.”

On April 8, Stanley and Nowacki attended an awards reception in Columbus, where the award-winning artwork is displayed in the Acock Gallery.

Stanley said of the award and related exhibition of her work, “I think it will help me open up a lot of opportunities to applying my work to fine art. Last semester I took a lot of fine art electives. I’m really interested in being able to branch out both ways, work professionally but also work as a fine artist.”

She transferred to CIA in 2012 specifically for its Biomedical Art program. Biomedical Art majors take science courses at Case Western Reserve University and at CIA they master traditional illustration as well as digital illustration and animation. The program features collaborations with Cleveland hospitals and museums. Stanley as had an internship at the Cleveland Clinic in the Department of Medical Illustration and Photography.

“I worked with a doctor on a condition called preeclampsia, and made an illustrated graphic of outside sources that effect women that promote that condition,” Stanley said. Her illustrations from this internship were published in two separate medical journals.

Stanley said she appreciates the preparation her classes gave her for her internship. “We’re all so close together and we’re used to being harshly critiqued” at CIA, she said. This turned out to be particularly good preparation for the Cleveland Clinic.

Her BFA thesis exhibition in early May will be and interactive display about how birds have adapted for flight over the sea.

After graduation, Stanley will pursue a career in educational artwork. As she said in her Artist Statement, “Whether it’s drawing from a cadaver or observing organisms under a microscope, I enjoy learning more about the world around me and being able to draw these fascinating subjects.”

Artwork from all the nominees is available for viewing at

About CIA

Founded in 1882, Cleveland Institute of Art is an accredited, independent college of art and design with 15 majors in studio art, digital art, craft disciplines, and design. CIA extends its offerings to the public through gallery exhibitions; lectures; robust continuing education courses; 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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