ScholarCelebration

$375,000 in New Scholarships to Art Academy of Cincinnati

To view more photos from the event, click here.

The Art Academy of Cincinnati announces two new transformational scholarships: the Carson E. Smith Scholarship and the William E. Villa Scholarship. Smith and Villa were both graduates of the Art Academy of Cincinnati and remembered the school in their end-of-life plans.

William E. Villa enrolled at the Art Academy in 1963 and studied drawing and painting, sculpture, visual techniques, graphic design, art history, and color theory. While a student, he worked as a photography lab technician. As a graduate, he began his career as a television news photographer for WKRC. He filmed, edited and produced local news stories.

In 1970, just four years after graduation, he moved to San Francisco and worked in the production of secondary school educational films. He was a television production specialist for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and a recipient of a national HUD photography award.

In 2000, he made his home in Kula, Hawaii. Photography served him well in his profession. Throughout his life, he stayed connected to his creative, artistic side, especially regarding the Art Academy training in graphic design and color theory. He continued to paint and draw; he created stained and fused glass. Just before his untimely death in 2010, William had plans to create an art studio.

Carson Smith graduated from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1957 with a degree in Design and Portraiture. As an Art Academy student, Carson met William Henschel, an Art Academy instructor and Rookwood Pottery artist, who recognized Carson’s talent and helped him get a summer job at Rookwood Pottery that lasted for many years both before and after his service in World War II. He earned the Purple Heart for his service to his country during the Okinawa invasion.

His career embraced beauty. He created intricate three-dimensional designs for cigarette cases, pocket watches, and cosmetic cases. Smith was known for his designs at Wadsworth Watch Case Company and Helena Rubenstein Cosmetics. It was not unusual to see celebrities and royalty using items he designed.

His most notable design was the Cadillac emblem – a shield with traditional figures of heraldry. While the emblem has evolved over the years, his design is still the foundation of what Cadillac continues to use.

Until his retirement in 1990, Carson worked as an interior designer at Greiwe Interiors, where he was recognized with a national award for the original Pigall’s restaurant in downtown Cincinnati.

The Scholars Celebration, October 3, 5-6:30 at the Art Academy, will recognize significant scholarships and the students who receive them. Art Academy students received financial support from

  • AAC Alumni Scholarship
  • AAC Portfolio Awards
  • John E. & Mary Ann Butkovich Scholarship,
  • Cincinnati Art Club Scholarship,
  • John Fisher/Leonard Sive Traditional Painting Scholarshp
  • Franklin Folger Memorial Trust
  • Gary Gaffney/Jacqueline Wollman Award
  • Omer T. Glenn Scholarship
  • Edie & Charley Harper Scholarship
  • Helms Trust Purchase Award
  • Fannie Isidor Scholarship
  • Carolyn & Julius Magnus Family Award
  • John & Judy Ruthven Scholarship
  • Carson E. Smith Scholarship
  • William E. Villa Scholarship
  • Bertha Langhorst Werner Scholarship
  • Stephen H. Wilder Scholarship

Art Academy 2017 Scholarship Recipients are

  1. Andrea Bacca, Bristol,VA
  2. Cody Bechtol, Cheviot, OH
  3. Caroline Bell, Turpin Hills, OH
  4. Bruce Bennett, St. Paul, MN
  5. Kaitlin Burke, Hudson, OH
  6. Lauren Castillo, Greensboro, NC
  7. Mandy Clements, Greenville, NC
  8. Madison DeAtley, Loveland, OH
  9. Joseph DiMario, Cincinnati, OH
  10. Taylor Dorrell, Westerville, OH
  11. Claire Flath, West Chester, OH
  12. DJ Gathers, Madisonville, OH
  13. Zach Gibson, Covington, KY
  14. Sydney Greene, Union, KY
  15. November Hardy, Madisonville, OH
  16. Sam Holloway, Carmel, IN
  17. Jen Horsting, Loveland, OH
  18. Abriljoanna (April) Huerta, Fairfield, OH
  19. Aubre Lightner, Evanston, OH
  20. Noel Maghathe, White Oak, OH
  21. Nicole McClure, Tulia, TX
  22. Hailee McElroy-Herin, Clifton, OH
  23. Nikki Nesbit, Newport, KY
  24. Jack Nichols, Madisonville, OH
  25. Sabrina Pachla, Warren, MI
  26. Cecilia Padilla, Fairfield, OH
  27. Hannah Parker, West Price Hill, OH
  28. Audrey Patterson, Mount Juliet, TN
  29. Cody Perkins, Hebron, KY
  30. John Platt, Walnut Hills, OH
  31. Sydney Rains, Covington, KY
  32. Tez Robertson, Over-the-Rhine, OH
  33. Kane Sargent, Lucasville, OH
  34. Carly Simendinger, Lebanon, OH
  35. Vera Thornbury, Price Hill, OH
  36. Tiffany Tran, Verona, WI
  37. Savannah Vagedes, Ludlow, OH
  38. Sophia Velasco, Fisher, IN
  39. Julia Waldorf, Fairfield, OH
  40. Taylor Wellman, Amanda, OH
  41. Mal Wesley, Over-the-Rhine, OH
  42. Harris Wheeler, Lexington, KY
  43. Althea Wiggs, Lexington, KY
  44. Lindsay Wiles, Blanchester, OH
  45. Andre Wilson, Westwood, OH
  46. Katelyn Wolary. Wilmington, OH
DJGathers

DJ Gathers – Make it Inescapable

“Make it Inescapable”

Written by Doug Geyer

Most artists, like many who express themselves creatively, desire to share their work. To engage, inspire, and provoke others outside of themselves. To have a captive audience.

Darrin Gathers is no different.

Yet for this junior from Madisonville, he is driven by something deeper than the personal satisfaction of knowing his art is seen and appreciated, perhaps even purchased. DJ has something to say. But venting via Facebook, though common for his social media saturated generation, is not the medium he chooses. His anger will not be quelled, his vision not realized, by a posting here or a tweet there. As a young, biracial man growing up and into a world filled and fuming with social injustice, he has a singular goal for proclaiming that black lives matter through his art.

“Even though I’m a part of the first generation to grow up with social media, I don’t want to just talk about it on Facebook. With everything that’s been happening around the country, through my art, I want to make the message of Black Lives Matter inescapable.”

His dedication to offer his voice to those who are often unheard coupled with countless hours in his studio bears witness to why he was one of two students chosen for the New York Studio Residency Program. As a charter member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, the AAC participates in the consortium’s annual program to give art students from around the country an opportunity to taste the Big Apple for themselves. To listen to and learn from other artists while discovering how they will make art that makes a difference.

But DJ’s passion wasn’t always so clearly professed or understood. With only two months left in his senior year of high school, he was preparing for a life of fighting fires and saving lives. It took a nudge from his mother to visit the AAC to help him realize there was no fire burning in his heart to be a professional firefighter. Once he saw the studios, envisioned having one of his own, a spark found ready tinder and he decided to change course.

“I didn’t want to just do something to earn a steady paycheck. I’d rather care about what I do.”

Like Ryan Khosla, a friend and fellow Residency recipient, DJ was drawn to the world of art while skateboarding and tagging in high school. Though at the time he didn’t envision himself moving beyond listening to hip hop, spray painting and simply enjoying the work of artists like Shepard Fairey, he was beginning to explore a world where he would ultimately become a contributor, an agent of change.

His time in New York this fall has fueled this ongoing exploration via the vast physical urbanscape itself and the inner world where his love for screen printing and collage has expanded exponentially.

DJ has also felt empowered by his mentor Oasa DuVerney. Oasa is a Brooklyn-based artist who often uses graphite and ink on paper as well as video to address social inequalities in the context of race, gender, and class.

“I’m impressed with DJ’s interest in creating work that has relevance outside of this very small art world, in spite of a less than supportive society that typically is not interested in art that is critical of the oppressive, white patriarchy that it upholds. It’s my hope that he continues to explore his voice and experience through art making because it is important and should be heard.”

To create a collage, an artist brings together various elements from different sources to give birth to a new, unified piece. Visuals that don’t typically reside in the same space somehow working as one to bring forth something of value because essentially they are different yet together. Screen printing relies on pressure applied by a hand guiding a fill blade or squeegee to push ink through a screen, persuading it through spaces it needs help to navigate.

Perhaps in the heart and hands of DJ, there are answers not only artistically but socially. Answers which are capable of bringing together people which aren’t typically residing in the same space. Birthing solutions both new and essential, applying the right kind of pressure to leave a memorable and lasting impression. Saving lives by starting constructive fires in the hearts of others eager to see equality for all.

Providing a way out through art that is inescapable.