UNK design students finish high at graphic arts event

Maggie Pierson, S’edition, Publications
Maggie Pierson, S’edition, Publications

KEARNEY – Visual communication design students at UNK won 15 medals, including four gold, at the recent American Institute of Graphic Arts competition in Omaha.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney had 30 entries advance to the second round of judging at the Nov. 4 show, which included students from colleges and universities across Nebraska.

Kelli Potratz, Soothe, Experimental & Unpublished (Judge’s Choice)
Kelli Potratz, Soothe, Experimental & Unpublished (Judge’s Choice)

Aaron Fischer of Comstock, Kelli Potratz of Grand Island, Sarah Styron of Lincoln and Jase Hueser of Papillion each won golds. Hueser also received a silver medal, while Fischer and Styron each added a bronze to go with their top finishes. John Shea of Blair won three bronze medals for UNK.

“It is an honor that my work was recognized by AIGA,” said Hueser. “Receiving accolades is rewarding and sparks an excitement for future projects. This motivates me to continue growing as a designer.”

Added Styron: “This was my first gold AIGA medal, so it was a thrilling experience seeing my work on display. … It’s incredible being surrounded by so much talent.”

In addition to the 15 medals, two UNK students received honorable mentions. Assistant Professor Samuel B. Rapien was also recognized, winning a professional silver medal, judge’s choice and member’s choice for his work on the department’s Imagination Day posters.

“It is awesome to see such a range of design students being professionally recognized for their artwork and projects,” said Rick Schuessler, chair of the department of art and design. “For our design faculty, this is a great testament to our UNK teaching and VCD Program.”

Medal winners and those receiving recognition, listed by hometown with name of entry followed by competition category:

Gold Medal
Comstock – Aaron Fischer, Control Your Imagination, Motion & Video
Grand Island – Kelli Potratz, Soothe, Experimental & Unpublished (Judge’s Choice)
Lincoln – Sarah Styron, Odyssey, Logo & Identity System
Papillion – Jase Hueser, S’edition Magazine Layout, Publications

Silver Medal
Papillion – Hueser, Papillion, ‘Florence’ Jazz Album, Packaging & Product

Bronze Medal
Aurora – Lauren Reichardt, Victoria Cougars Rebrand, Logo & Identity System
Blair – John Shea, Lunar Society, Logo and Identity System; Jupiter Hammerheads Rebrand, Logo & Identity System; GoVote, Poster
Comstock – Fischer, Under the Fable, Packaging & Product
Firth – Haily House, Fisherman’s Bounty, Experimental & Unpublished
Lincoln – Ryan Faden, SFMOMA Pamphlet cover, Promotional Design & Advertising; Styron, Weekend Slasher Film Festival, Promotional Design & Advertising
Omaha – Maggie Pierson, S’edition, Publications
No Hometown Available – Lim Yun Ji, Crumpled Table, Experimental & Unpublished

Honorable Mention
No Hometown Available – Chris Campbell, ACLU redesign, Logo and Identity System
Henderson – Janelle Huebert, To the Woods Game Box, Packaging & Product

Professional Silver Medal
UNK Faculty – Samuel B. Rapien, ‘Imagination Day, Posters


Writer: Todd Gottula, Director of Communications, 308.865.8454, gottulatm@unk.edu
Source: Samuel B. Rapien, Assistant professor visual communication & design, 308.865.8307, rapiensb@unk.edu
Source: Rick Schuessler, Professor of art and design, 308.865.8806, 308.627.7116, schuesslerr@unk.edu