Three works by Art Center Illustration students Hannah Chi, Michael Kuo and Ellen Surrey were recently selected from more than 5,000 entries as being among the “best of the best” in the Society of Illustrators annual Student Scholarship Competition. The artists were awarded monetary scholarships at an opening reception for the 2013 Student Scholarship Exhibition.
Chi’s Burdens depicts a humanoid zebra pedaling a bicycle cart overflowing with cast-off items. In Kuo’s Ramen Time, an Alice in Wonderland-like figure peers into a giant bowl of soup. And Surrey’s Normal Abnormal reveals the colorful inner workings of the brain inside the heads of two otherwise dark silhouettes.
The students’ winning illustrations are now on view at the Society’s Museum of Illustration in New York, through June 5, joining those by 10 other Art Center students whose work was also recognized by the jury of professionals assembled by the Society of Illustrators that selected winning entries based on the quality of technique, concept and skill with medium used.
Together, these 13 Art Center students have 17 original works exhibited in the show alongside 200 other pieces produced by top college students from across the nation.
- Beverly Chen, The Devil and the Star
- Hannah Chi, Burdens
- Alexander Cho, Amber Light Nostalgia
- Adrianna Crespo, White Emanation and Anamnesis
- Christine Fraguela, Clarisse McClellan and The Flea Market
- Faith Jin, Artisan Bread
- Taleen Keldjian, Campground Landscape and Pebbles
- Michael Kuo, Ramen Time
- Loris Lora, The Black Keys
- Alexander Santillanes, Irrawaddy and Hollywood Forever
- Vivian Shih, We’ve All Got Something to Hide
- Ellen Surrey, Normal Abnormal
- Rebecca Wang, Zack
The work of all Art Center students can be found in the Society’s online gallery.
For Surrey, who completed her winning piece in David Tillinghast’s Illustration Design Lab course, the value of the scholarship is more than monetary. “Most important, through the scholarship you get exposure. You can’t expect to become a great artist by simply making a bunch of work and hoping people see it. You have to show it to people, and one of the best ways to do that is through competitions.”
Kuo, another scholarship winner, said he wanted to create a printmaking image that was “fun and playful.” He believes that this scholarship in particular is important to emerging artists. “As difficult as it is trying to become a successful artist, scholarship money goes a long way to funding my education,” said Kuo. “I’m extremely grateful to the Society of Illustrators and its donors for this scholarship because it comes from one of the most prestigious organizations continuing to support students and professionals. The acknowledgement from professional peers gives me courage and validation as an illustrator.”
“I feel very proud and accomplished to win this competitive scholarship,” said scholarship award winner Chi. “This work was inspired by a topic I chose on astronomy and the life cycle of stars. Stars are born, they grow up and they die just like human beings. They follow a similar pattern to many of the life cycles on earth. They carry heavy burdens with them just as we do.”
As an organization, the Society of Illustrators has promoted the art of illustration and supported its members for more than 100 years. At the same time it remains a lively and active participant in the field by showcasing the work of up-and-coming artists. One such example is the annual Student Scholarship Competition, through which the Society has awarded over $1.5 million to deserving students for more than 30 years.