The Society’s mission of supporting and preserving the art and history of illustration through educational and social programming was continued this past year through all of its many challenges. The Society is proud to have hosted two prestigious scholarship programs recognizing outstanding college-level students throughout the United States. These scholarship programs offer financial support to selected students, as well as promotional opportunities to help them establish careers in illustration and comic art.
This year’s Annual Student Scholarship Competition features over three hundred works chosen from 7,300 entries submitted by professors of college-level illustration and animation students nationwide and Canada. In a competition which can kick start a career, students bring their most sophisticated, well-crafted and original work to be tested. A jury of professional peers, including illustrators and art directors, selects the most outstanding works created throughout the year. Work is juried into the competition based on the quality of technique, concept and skill of medium used. Thirty two students were awarded financial support from the show, which is now viewable on the Society’s online exhibits platform.
The Zankel Scholar, established in 2007, is named in memory of Arthur Zankel, whose generous bequest made this scholarship possible. Mr. Zankel was a firm advocate for higher education, and the Society is honored to seek, in his name, the best illustration student of the junior class. Top students are nominated by faculty, and submit a portfolio of work to the Society. Chaired by Melanie Reim, the jury this year included illustrators Carlos Aponte, LeUyen Pham, Creative Director and Illustrator Keith Henry Brown, New York Times Art Director Jim Datz, and Executive Creative Director for Random House Children’s Books Martha Rago. The jury chose as finalists Tara Anand (School of Visual Arts), Peilin Li (School of Visual Arts), and Nate Sweitzer, (College for Creative Studies). After online interviews and a portfolio review, Tara Anand was selected as this year’s Zankel Scholar.
On behalf of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation, the Society is pleased to announce the annual Will Eisner Scholar, dedicated to one of the most influential comic artists of all time. This scholarship is awarded to the best comics and sequential art student currently enrolled in an undergraduate program in the US. Junior-level students are selected by their faculty and submit a portfolio to the Society. This year the jury included Illustrator and comic artists Sara Alfageeh, Jensine Eckwall, Kate Lacour, Earl Womack, and Origami Comics Publisher Ken Wong. The jury chose as finalists Jesse Clem (Maryland Institute College of Art), Radiante De Beaulieu (Rhode Island School of Design), and Finn (Pinchas) Segal (Maryland Institute College of Art). After online interviews and a review of their body of work, Jesse Clem was selected as this year’s Will Eisner Scholar.
About the Society of Illustrators
Founded in 1901, the Society of Illustrators and its Museum of Illustration together comprise America’s longest-standing nonprofit organization dedicated to the art of illustration. The mission of SI/MI is to promote the art and appreciation of illustration and its history and evolving nature through exhibitions and educational programs.
About the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation
The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation fosters innovation and creativity in graphic literature, sequential art and comics. It encourages others to continue and build upon the legacy of Will Eisner, who broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics and was the creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena and countless others.