May 7, 2024
Outside of Visual Arts Building at night, displaying Art Knight posters.

UCF’s School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD) celebrates the achievements of faculty, alumni and students as they unleash their potential in various creative endeavors. Join us in recognizing them for their efforts within the art field this winter.

SVAD Emerging Media MFA, Studio Art & Design student, Njeri Kinuthia was a runner-up for the Awards for Excellence by a Graduate Student Researcher for the Master’s category. In recognition of this outstanding achievement, Njeri will receive a $500 scholarship and will be recognized at the Student Research Week Excellence Awards on March 29, 2024, at 12:30 pm in the Morgridge International Reading Center.

SVAD was mentioned in latest Disney in Florida article: “One of the ways the team helps build confidence is through its Gamified Training Program which is made possible by some of the brilliant minds and professors at UCF’s School of Visual Arts and Design and the School of Communication and Media.”

Isabella Moreno, SVAD senior in the Character Animation track, will be honored at Founders Day this year. Isabella, Isa for short, is a student co-director for the short film Scavengers, which is premiering with the other undergraduate short film, Wishful Thinking, on April 26.

Art History Professor, Ilenia Colón Mendoza has had two articles accepted, the first is entitled “Calderón, the Paragón, and his Theatrical use of Sculpture,” eHumanista, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA, and the second “Alonso Berruguete’s Workshop and the Place of Polychrome Sculpture in the Hierarchy of Arts in Spain.” Renaissance Papers, Boydell and Brewer, England. She was also awarded a $3000 Custard Institute Publication Subvention Grant for Polychromy in the Early Modern World: 1200-1800 (at press) from the Custard Institute for Spanish Art and Culture, Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX.

Keri Watson received a $250,000 grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art. It is a five-year operational grant for Panorama, Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art, the journal where Keri serves as an Executive Editor and the Finance and Grants Manager.

Isabella Moreno, Emerging Media – Character Animation senior, received a Founders’ Day award.

Maggie Messer, Emerging Media – Character Animation Senior, was invited to participate in the Creative Scholars Showcase on March 29, 2024

Savannah Hill, Emerging Media MFA – Animation and VFX, received a Judges’ Choice Award for her poster in Graduate Session 2 of the 2024 Student Scholars Symposium on Tuesday, April 2

Art History Alum, Jennifer Laffick, has received a Fulbright Research Grant to conduct dissertation research at the Université Grenoble Alpes in France during the 2024-25 academic year.

Studio Art Alum, Mär Martinez ’20, has received a Fulbright Grant and will be going to Istanbul to create a series of paintings inspired by Turkish weaving processes.

Njeri Kinuthia, Emerging Media MFA – Studio Art & Design, has been selected as a finalist and artist for the 2024 Florida Prize in Contemporary Art at the Orlando of Museum of Art.

Percy Brashear, Art History, won the Judges’ Choice Award in the 2024 Student Scholar Symposium for their poster “Young and Beautiful: The Androgyny of Bacchus in the Baroque.” They will receive a $300 scholarship. Their mentor is Professor of Art History Dr. Colón Mendoza.

Matt Dombrowski’s directly mentored Undergraduate research students showcased seven posters during the UCF Scholar Symposium, with three award-winners and one selected for the Enhancing Lives showcase. They also had two groups attend and present at the regional and national conferences for undergraduate research. SVAD student Nico Chen was involved in the National Conference Presentation.

Matt Dombrowski was selected to be on the AP Artificial Intelligence Policy Working Group for College Board’s AP® Art and Design. This involves policy writing using digital tools such as AI for Advanced Placement Art and Design portfolios.

The Character Animation students had a fantastic experience watching the eclipse of 2024 from the OTC building. Christina Christie brought along a paper that allowed the students to see the crescent moon shadows on the ground, adding to the excitement.

Shannon Lindsey was invited to be the curator for the upcoming 2024 South Arts Southern Prize and State Fellowship exhibition. The program celebrates the breadth and diversity of the highest quality art being created in the American South and brings together work from the nine esteemed 2024 State Fellowship winners, one from each state within the South Arts region – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The exhibition will tour throughout 2024 to four art institutions including:

  • Art and Culture Center Hollywood, Hollywood, FL,
  • Richardson Ctr for the Arts, Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC 29303
  • City Gallery, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Bo Bartlett Center, Columbus State University, Columbus, GA 31901

Keri Watson published a new book: Florida’s New Deal Parks and Post Office Murals (Charleston: History Press, 2024). Available from booksellers April 15. – This Is America: Re-Viewing the Art of the United States (Oxford University Press, 2023) was awarded the Most Promising New Textbook Award by the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA).

Matt Dombrowski and Victor Davila featured in recent article about the 2021 collaboration with SVAD students. Jonathan Isaac draws inspiration through UCF design students for signature shoe.

Two SVAD students Yusef Fageeh and Ophelia Rebmann were selected for the Atlantic Center for the Arts 35th Annual University Student Exhibition

Brittani Brown, Emerging Media MFA – Studio Art & Design, has been selected to exhibit in “Fresh Squeezed 8” at the Morean Arts Center. Opening Reception on Saturday, 4/13.

This year, Kevin Haran’s drawings were included in 7 national juried exhibitions in 7 states: AR, LA, NC, TX, MD, MO, NJ.

Stella Sung is having a premiere of a new work, called “High Ashes,” for baritone voice and orchestra on April 27th by the Fox Valley Symphony orchestra ( Appleton, WI). Additionally, her marine conservancy work, “Oceana,” which has received world-wide performances, will be performed by the Santa Fe (NM) Symphony Orchestra on April 24th.

UCF is proud to be the home of so many exceptional creatives who are unleashing their potential, both educationally and professionally. Check back soon for our next edition of Art Bytes from the School of Visual Arts and Design. Go Knights! Charge On!