Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Elys!

HEY HEY HEY so I'm finally getting on this thing! It took me a while, I know, I know.... But things are going to get fun, I promise! So to kick this thing off, I'm going to share our "Ely" senior thesis experience with you all!

Each student got to choose their own senior thesis project; the only requirement was that there were 4 finished pieces with accompanying type by the due date. Each student's work was then hung in the final "Ely show," and judged by a selected group of judges. (The judges change each year, so you never know what to expect!) The winners receive cash prizes, and are generally perceived as 'awesome' from then on out. For my Ely pieces, I chose to illustrate 4 poems by Jack Prelutsky, from his "Scranimals" book. They are:

"Oh Sleek Bananaconda"

"The Detested Radishark"

"The Solitary Spatuloon"

and finally, "The Clocktopus"

It was a rough time getting all four of these done in just a few months, but overall I enjoyed the experience. I really got to buckle down on my painting, and learned a lot between the first and the last piece. Mainly that I love colors. In fact, I'm pretty sure my favorite color is 'rainbow.'

So anyway, after all the hard work, the big payoff was the senior thesis Ely show! Each student's work hung in Hamilton Hall from April 6th-20th, with a reception on the 18th. It was great, finally having everyone's work on display, and being able to show my parents exactly what they've been paying all that money for! It was nice to see them so happy, especially my mom. She was super excited to take this picture of me with my work:

Of course, my big fat head is in the way of my pieces, and I'm awkwardly holding a soda can and Mark Tocchet cupcake..... What's a Mark Tocchet cupcake, you ask? Well, let me show you!

On top we have Mark Tocchet, the head of the Illustration department here at UArts. And underneath it is one of the many lovely cupcakes made in his likeness, by our very own Caitlin McCormack! They were a hit at the reception! And despite his stern appearance here, Mark is a pretty awesome guy, and loved them just as much as the students did!

So after all the fun and games, chatting and art-viewing, there was the main event that all the students were anxiously awaiting: the announcement of the winners! They were:

First Prize: Jimmy Tierney for his FANTASTIC book covers! Seriously, give this guy's website some love; he's going to do great things, I know it.

Second Prize: Kei Tawara for his gorgeous digital concept art! Like I said before, I love colors, and his pieces just blew me away. Please make sure to take a look!

And we had a tie for third! They were:

Tara Scolley for her children's posters and Dillon Shea for his original graphic novel!

Tara's work had me impressed from day one; she changed her entire way of working just before we got started on our Elys, and the way she handled the gigantic shift with such a huge project ahead of her earned her a lot of respect. And it's great to see that it really paid off! Take the time to check out her stuff, it's absolutely adorable!

Dillon really shocked us all with his work this year; his progress astounded us, to say the least. Check out his site to see what I mean!

And we had a few Honorable Mentions: Elizabeth Hallman, Jet Landis, April Read and Sean Talamini. All of them are wonderful artists, and their work deserves at least a peek!

And that about wraps it up for the Elys! Overall it was just a great day. I mean, what could be better than family, friends, and art?