Archive for the ‘ Awards ’ Category


Ken LittleOn Monday night Ken Little was honored as the 2014 TEXAS STATE VISUAL ARTIST – 3D in a public ceremony sponsored by the Texas Commission on the Arts in Austin.

You can go to the TCA page to read more about Ken and his accomplishments.

Ken, a 1970 alumnus of the studio art program, has been a longtime supporter of School of Art.  In 2007, he teamed up with the Medici Circle School of Art support group to create a new scholarship endowment to benefit Studio Art students.

Randall Reid to Deliver Texas State Presidental Seminar Lecture

Randall Reid, Professor in the School of Art & Design at Texas State University (1981 MFA in Drawing & Painting) has been recognized with a Presidential Seminar Award at Texas State.

On Wednesday, February 13, 2013, he will deliver a Presidential Seminar titled “Full Circle” from 3:30 – 5:00 PM at the Joann Cole Mitte Building (Rm 2121) on the Texas State campus in San Marcos.  He will discuss the evolution of his creative process and talk about the roles of materiality, chance, and time in his work.

“Passage of Time” steel, wood, paint, 10.5 x 9.5 x 2 inches.

Christina Thomas Receives Guggenheim Internship


Christina Thomas (BFA in Visual Studies, 2009) has been selected for a Spring 2010 internship at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Thomas will be interning in the museum’s Education Department and the position involves the “development, implementation, and administration of programs for all museum audiences including adults, schools, families, children, and general gallery visitors, across a variety of learning interests including art, history, literature, art/museum education, film, new media, and much more.”

As an education intern, Thomas will work in areas from Learning Through Art, Onsite School & Family Programs, and Public Programs to New Media, Teens, and Gallery Tours & Programs. She will interface with nearly all museum departments including visitor services, security, curatorial, library, marketing, public affairs, finance, and design.

In a message on Facebook, Thomas says that she is excited about working at the internationally renowned museum and living in New York and that she plans to take “full advantage” of the concurrent Museum Culture Seminar. The museum’s website describes the seminar program as “an integral part of [the] internship program” with “field trips to auction houses, galleries, corporate collections, artists’ studios, and other museums. A field trip outside the city is also planned for each semester.” Through discussions with museum staff from the different departments, the seminar also facilitates an awareness of current and critical issues in the arts and related fields. Thomas said that she is “certain that this opportunity will significantly influence the direction [her] career takes.” For more information on the Guggenheim internship program, visit

Seven SoA Students Selected to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities

Seven students in the School of Art were named to the 2009’s list of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. These students are Elizabeth Espinoza (senior in Communication Design from Lubbock, Texas); “Elise” (Frances) Hall (senior in Art History from McAllen, Texas); Jeff Hernandez (senior in Communication Design from Snyder, Texas); Gilbert Jones (senior in Art History from Lubbock, Texas); Lynsey Jones (senior in Communication Design from Missouri City, Texas); Kathryn Kiser ( from the Honors College, senior in Art History from Lubbock, Texas); and Samantha Roppolo (senior in Communication Design from Mesquite, Texas).

“It is an honor and I’m glad to be one of the 105 students chosen for the Who’s Who. I also am glad that the College of Visual and Performing Arts has such a large showing. It demonstrates that the SoA in the CVPA places emphasis on academics as well as service. It is just another example of how I’ve been encouraged by faculty and staff at the SoA,” explains Gilbert Jones.

The Who’s Who selection criterion is based on academic achievement, leadership, and service. This exclusive honor is conferred by more than 1,000 colleges/universities throughout the United States. For this honor, Texas Tech officially announced 105 students of which 17 students are from the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Tedeschi and Morrow Receive Faculty Recognition Awards

Associate Professor Carla Tedeschi (Communication Design and Program Coordinator)  and Professor Terry Morrow (Painting and Drawing) each recently received Outstanding Faculty Recognition Awards given by the Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa honors organizations.  They were honored at a reception in Merket Alumni Center for their exemplary classroom instruction, style, and accessibility to students with this faculty recognition award.

During the awards ceremony, Caleigh Aycock, Mortar Board Chairman for Faculty Recognition, explained to the five recipients, “There were so many, many applicants who were recommended so highly, we want you to know how very qualified and outstanding you all are for this award.”

Tedeschi and Morrow  were also recognized midfield at halftime during the October 31 TTU vs Kansas football game with three other award recipients, Dr. Mukaddes Darwish (associate professor in the College of Engineering); Dr. Thomas Knight (professor in the College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources); and Mitzi Ziegner (instructor in the College of Human Sciences).

Design Seniors Take 2nd and 3rd in Matador Video Challenge

Students from Assistant Professor Francisco Ortega’s Communication Design ART 4357 (Motion Graphics) class competed in the university-wide Matador Video Challenge promoted by the Office of the Provost, Quality Enhancement Plan XX and two of them are receiving awards for their entries.

Communication Design senior, Roxenya Grevel placed 2nd with her video titled “Diversity” and Iylana Putnam Nassiri, also a senior, placed 3rd with her video titled “Mutual Respect” (click here to read about another of Iylana’s recent success stories.).

Interestingly, Shane Nassiri, husband of Iylana Nassiri, took the 1st place award with a video titled “Excellence Is.” Iylana explains, “Shane is an Electronic Media and Communication major.  Both of us were in classes that required us to enter that contest, so we couldn’t help but compete against each other.”

To see more of the submissions, click on this Facebook page.

Iylana Nassiri’s Magazine Spread Chosen for “Creative Quarterly”


Senior Communication Design student, Iylana Putnam Nassiri recently had a magazine spread selected on a competitive basis and showcased in Creative Quarterly, The Journal of Art & Design, Issue no. 16. Nassiri’s spread was developed in Carla Tedeschi’s (Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of  Communication Design) Publication Design Class last spring.

Creative Quarterly is a national publication that showcases work produced by important artists, photographers and designers. An emphasis is placed on the work of emerging artists and designers as well as practicing professionals in their quarterly competitions.

Nassiri explains, “Our assignment was to find a random article (I don’t even remember where I found this one) and then design a magazine spread for it. The article talks about the Golden Ratio in flowers, shells and beehives, so that’s why I used those images, and then I also took some mathematical diagrams of the golden ratio and used those in my design. The grid on which this design is laid out is also based on the Golden Ratio in rectangles.”

She selected this spread for the competition because “it was my favorite thing. I had worked on it all semester, and actually it may be my favorite thing I have ever designed!”

Scott Thurman's Film "Smokey" Screens at Los Angeles Film Festival

Scott Thurman

Scott Thurman 2007 BFA Photography-digital option will have his documentary film titled “Smokey”screened during the Los Angeles Film Festival June 18-28. It is one of seven short films selected by the Houston Film Commission as part of the Texas Filmmakers’ Showcase at the LA Film Festival. In addition, the Houston Film Commission is flying Thurman to Los Angeles to be present for the film screening and Q&A session following.

“Smokey” is Scott Thurman’s directorial debut, having made this film during his first year in the MFA Documentary Filmmaking program at the University of North Texas, Denton.

“Smokey” takes an intimate look Smokey Binion, Jr. of Stinnett, Texas. Water well worker by day,Elvis impersonator on his off time. Smokey provides performances across the Panhandle of Texas – at no charge to the viewing audience. A day in the life with Smokey reveals an optimistic man involved with his community as an employee of the city and tribute artist, comfortable living and working in a small town while finding unusual ways to connect with all kinds of people.

This film is 14 min, 16 seconds and has previously been selected into the Hot Springs (Arkansas) Documentary Film Festival, Austin (Texas) Film Festival, NextFrame: University Film & Video Association’s Touring Festival of International Student Film & Video (Temple University, Philadelphia, PA), Rockport (Texas) Film Festival, AFI Dallas (Texas) International Film Festival, Indie Memphis (Tennessee) Film Festival, and Dallas (Texas) Video Fest. The film took 1st Place at the Reality Bites Independent Student Film Festival sponsored by Northern Illinois University’s Department of Communication in April. The film can be viewed at the Reality Bites website. Then by clicking on “Smokey.”



William Canning's Work is "Most Engaging" says Frances Colpitt

Example of Canning's work entitled "Sink or Swim"

Example of Canning's work entitled "Sink or Swim"

Frances Colpitt , TCU Art History Professor, reviewing the Austin Texas Biennial Multiple Venues in the publication Art  in America describes Canning’s work as follows. “To provide more in depth exposure, one artist was chosen to have a solo exhibition, each at a different venue. The most engaging for this viewer was William Cannings at Okay Mountain. He exhibited steel sculptures of life-size inflatable objects, like inner tubes,beach balls, and rafts, which he makes by heating the metal sheets and shaping them with forced air. Painted in shiny enamel, the works convincingly capture the puckered seams and the puffed out shapes of the artist’s motifs. Unlike Jeff Koon’s works, Cannings are actual size, thick and glossy rather than thin and glassy. The weighty material is rendered buoyant and airy, like the show as a whole”

Ken Little BFA 1969, was mentioned in the AiA article, also.  Little was specifically chosen to stage art at one of the temporary outdoor location curated by Risa Puleo at Lady Bird Lake. Colpitt describes Little’s work as “white picket fence outlining the shape of the continental United States”  3347842486_5c1934ed0e

Guest-curator, Michael Duncan, a Los Angeles art critic and curator, chose art work from an open call for the third Texas Biennial Exhibition in Austin, Texas which showed from . Six alums and/or SoA faculty were chosen out of the 650 entries for this exhibit.  They were Susan BudgeSusan ChealTom MatthewsChristie Blizard Little, and Cannings.

Iylana Putnam’s Poster is Chosen by the House of Representatives


Not only will Iylana Putnam’s, (senior in Communication Design) art be on display all over Texas, but she wins a scholarship, too! Putnam recently won a poster contest concerning an alcohol awareness campaign sponsored by the Texas Hospitality Association. The poster was selected by the offices of the 150 members of the Texas House of Representatives as the 2009 winner of the $5,000 THA Poster Scholarship Contest for college students.  State Representative Carl Isett will have a resolution passed in her honor by the entire Texas House of Representatives when she can travel to Austin.

Putnam says, “They were calling for poster submissions. The posters had to convey that ‘A standard beer (12oz), mixed drink (1.5oz liquor), and glass of wine (5oz) each contain the same amount of alcohol.’ I tried to make my poster as simple and eye-catching as possible, since it will be distributed all over Texas in different places where alcohol is sold.”

I say cheers to you, Iylana—great job! For more information