Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Georgia Wall Named First Grand Award Winner for the AICUO Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts (EVAs)

On Monday night, Oberlin College student Georgia Wall became the first student to win the EVA grand award. Ms. Wall, pictured at right with the award, received the grand award when it was announced on April 21 at a reception at Ohio Dominican University. Her work is primarily performance and installation art.

The awards for Excellence in the Visual Arts, or EVAs, are the nation’s first on-line college art awards. Ohio independent college seniors were nominated by the chair of their art department. Students presented their work on-line and included explanations and a short video for judgment by academic and artistic panels. All of the entrants, including this year’s winners, can be viewed on the awards Web site, www.aicuoartaward.com.

Following her nomination by the college, Ms. Wall was one of six students to win an EVA, chosen by a select panel of Ohio college art professors. The six award winners—Ms. Wall, Andreas Baumgartner of Bluffton University, Kristen Gillman of Ohio Dominican University, Heather Lynn Kyle and Kyle McMahon of Columbus College of Art & Design, and Mad Mohre of Denison University—were then evaluated by a select panel that included Ohio artists, an art journalist, the chair of the Ohio Arts Council, and State Treasurer Richard Cordray.

In addition to the Grand Award, Ms. Wall also received a $2,500 cash award. Fellow award winner Mad Mohre went home with two awards—both an EVA and the inaugural People’s Choice award, the larger of the two awards shown in her picture at right.

The EVAs evolved from the absence of art; AICUO’s offices were new last spring, and we wanted to display the variety of artistic expression that can be found on the majority of our member campuses. We also realized that presenting the wide variety of artistic expression at our campuses would help the public learn more about the colleges themselves. What started as an idea for an art show became this first of a kind competition. We have received overwhelming positive feedback on the awards, and look forward to their return next year. We will be improving the Web site, allowing everyone, instead of just our judges, to view the art in a larger size.

For the uninitiated, the videos are an easy way to enjoy the EVAs. The most popular videos have been Georgia Wall’s silent piece, Mad Mohre’s puppet show, and the creative destruction of Heather Lynn Kyle. You can view them all at www.aicuoartaward.com.

—C. Todd Jones