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News . Feature Stories . Learning from young artists, designers


September 25, 2013

Learning from young artists, designers

CIA announces panelists for NEXT teen career-development day

They’re launching careers focused on jewelry design, medical illustration, graphic novels, youth development and user experience, and they have plenty to say to high school students. These three recent CIA graduates and one CIA senior will have the perfect opportunity to share their ideas on creative careers when they serve as panelists for CIA’s NEXT: Living Art + Design event, scheduled for Friday, October 25, from 

This year’s NEXT panelists are 2012 grads Martinez E-B Garcias and Trisha Shah; 2009 and 2010 graduate Aaron Drake (he holds two CIA degrees); and current CIA senior Josette Galiano.

A daylong, career-development program, NEXT introduces the professional world of art and design to high school students who think they might be interested in pursuing a career in the visual arts but who wonder how to make it happen… and whether they’ll have job security. The event opens with the panel discussion, moderated by CIA Associate Professor Scott Ligon. After the panel discussion, high school students will roll up their sleeves for their choice of hands-on workshops in 15 different disciplines in CIA’s well-appointed studios.

The faces of NEXT 2013
Panel moderator Ligon is the coordinator for the digital foundation curriculum at CIA, and a digital artist and award-winning filmmaker. He earned his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and is also the author of Digital Art Revolution, Creating Fine Art with Photoshop, published in March 2010, and now in its second printing.

Garcias is the co-creator of three commissioned comic books and is now working as a Youth Leadership Coordinator. He’s shown his art in multiple galleries, and has completed commissioned work for clients such as CASE and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. Having launched his own company, Red Light Go Studios, he also provides creative critical thinking materials for urban youth. These efforts are an outgrowth of his CIA experience. He says the critical thinking skills honed at CIA enrich every aspect of his life and work.

Trisha Shah majored in Biomedical Art at CIA, a specialty that allows her to produce art with broad social and scientific impact. While at CIA, Shah earned multiple accolades for her work – including an Award of Excellence from the Association of Medical Illustration – and completed a medical illustration internship at the Cleveland Clinic, illustrating the first near-total face transplant procedure carried out in the United States. Her illustrations have since been published in a book about the procedure, in the Journal of Anatomy, and on the cover of the Journal of Neurosurgery. She works as a medical illustrator for Visual Evidence, a company that produces graphics for litigation.

Drake was so dedicated to a wide-ranging arts education that he completed two degrees at CIA. He earned his first BFA in Industrial Design in 2010, and graduated again a year later, this time with a BFA in Jewelry + Metals. While still in school (in 2009), Drake began interning with Heather Moore Jewelry. As the luxury jewelry design company tripled in size, Aaron steadily worked his way up through ranks. Before achieving his current position as head designer and director of new product development, Drake was 3-D model designer, diamond setter and diamond setting training manager.

Drake credits the quality and comprehensiveness of the CIA curriculum with helping him develop the craft and design skills necessary to succeed as a professional artist. Just this year, his designs have garnered first place honors in the JCK Jewelers Choice Awards, the Centurion Gold Design Awards and the Couture Bridal Design Awards.

Galiano, who is now a senior Industrial Design major, is currently working on a collaborative Visitor Experience Project sponsored by the Cleveland Museum of Art. She has interned twice with Columbus-based user experience design firm Lextant, which works with leading companies to bring meaningful products and services to market. She also served as Technical Assistant in Color Theory for CIA’s Pre-College Summer Program.

To read more about NEXT or to register, go to or contact 
Amy Pappas 
at or 216.225.0198.

Above: 2012 NEXT panelists participate in a panel discussion, moderated by CIA Associate Professor Scott Ligon.

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