Rick Lovell, head of the illustration department at the Atlanta College of Art, recently invited me to review portfolios of the last graduating class (ACA is being absorbed by the Savannah College of Art and Design/Atlanta, aka SCAD). I was honored to share the responsibility with two masters in our field: Dave Clegg and Gary Overacre. To give you an idea of what I mean by "masters": in college we were shown art slides and tested to name the illustrator of each slide - Gary's art was part of the test!
I also enjoyed meeting Jay Montgomery, another of the talented faculty guiding the students to success.
I'll be sorry to see ACA go - what a fantastic facility - and right across from the High Museum of Atlanta. Can you imagine a better location? Still, they will be moving on to a very fancy facility at SCAD.
There were five graduating seniors and their styles were completely different from each other. Rick really let them push their true loves artistically and I think he did them a huge favor. Most of the students are well on their way to finding their artistic voices. I so enjoyed seeing their outstanding art, but especially their enthusiasm. I will be honored to have these students join the illustration field:
Ami Blackford - Get used to this name, she's
already got a children's book under contract and it is SPECIAL!!!
Semin Chun - wonderful torn paper/collage work - her fine art is really captivating.
Ester Wilson - Beautifully unique style, she likes to paint on wood - watch out New York, she's got "book designer" in her scopes, and she's going to be GREAT!
Jetuan Reeves - Jetuan's passion doesn't lie in illustration, but her trees are something truly worth enjoying.
Anthony Hicks - another one who's name we need to listen for as he comes up in the very hip art scene of LA. Disturbing, dark and proficient work, Anthony is truly a "FINE" artist.
The program that nurtured these talented students obviously did a wonderful job letting them express their passions and create portfolios that are much more mature than many I've seen from recent graduates. I think they will all do very, very well. What a joy to review all their hard work and skills!
Here's a picture Rick took of me with Ester and Ami at lunch.