Marshall Has Four Art/Design Winners

Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
Winning Card Design
Winning Card Design

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Students from Marshall University’s College of Fine Arts were honored recently for their winning entries in a design competition run through the office of Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp. The competition was for best print holiday card, best digital holiday card and best plate showcasing important elements of Marshall University. This year’s contest attracted about 75 entries for the print holiday card and about 35 entries for the plate. An entire class entered the digital card category.

Kopp said the history of the awards dates back more than five years. He and his wife, Jane, help choose the award winners each year. 

“My wife and I were exploring ways to encourage students in the fine arts, particularly in visual arts, to help us by creating a holiday card coming from the university,” Kopp said. “We also started a series of engraved plates showcasing our students’ work to highlight some hallmark aspects  of Marshall University.”

Byron Clercx, chair of Marshall’s department of art and design, praised the Kopps for their support of the arts.

“To work at a university where the president is so overtly supportive of the arts is a dream come true. He and his wife have supported the arts in a number of ways for a number of years through their personal gifts,” Clercx said. “By sponsoring these three competitions and even with the artwork hanging in his office, it means that we are a visible and viable part of the campus.”

Margaryta Seliverstova, a junior art and design major, was the winner of the print card competition; John Fowler, a  junior art and design major, and Morgan Thompson, a senior graphic design major, were the first-place winners for their work on the plate; and the entire graphic design and digital media class took first place for their collaborative work on the digital card.

Levi Brunbaugh received the second-place award and Thompson received third place in the print card category. Since first place was shared, there was no second-place winner in the plate category. Amanda Wheeler received third place in that category. In the digital card category, Matthew Crutchfield received the second-place award and Matthew Smith received the third-place award.

Honorable mentions went to Whitney Lyons and Kelli Simpson in the print card category and to Jeffery Pennington in the plate category.

“It makes me feel great. It’s a great opportunity to get your name out there and share your work outside the university and represent Marshall,” Seliverstova said.

Thompson said her WMUL 50-year anniversary design was combined with Fowler’s piece on the 75th anniversary of the Artists Series to create the plate design.

“It was something I felt was overlooked,” she said. “Both of the anniversaries were smaller but need to be recognized as well.”

Brent Patterson, professor of graphic design and new media, teaches the class that won the digital card competition. The students used individual pieces and combined them to make a larger piece incorporating the theme of “happy holidays.”

“Normally the students compete against each other, but I decided to make it a group project taking the best of each student’s work and make a really strong piece,” Patterson said.

Jane Kopp said this contest is a great way for her to get involved in the university and to meet the students.

“We sit down together and look at all the choices. This year we were really surprised that we had even more choices,” Jane Kopp said. “I love doing this with him and meeting the students, that’s the important thing for me.”

“It’s fun to see what students come up with each year and reaffirms in my mind that we have very talented students in our fine arts programs,” President  Kopp said. He said plates are given to the most generous donors. Cards go out to all the people on the mailing list. They issue about 75 plates and about 1,000 print cards each year.  The digital card goes up on the web.

The competition is open to all students at Marshall.

“I’d like to see it more widespread, not only graphics and the digital arts program, but across the campus,” Stephen Kopp said.  “I think it’s a great way to showcase the incredible talent we have here, but also for us as a university to recognize the work that they do.”

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