Work by Hyelim Koh, Zoja Chmielarczyk, Erin Bator, Nathan Motzko, and Jenna Graham
Work by Hyelim Koh, Zoja Chmielarczyk, Erin Bator, Nathan Motzko, and Jenna Graham
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Every year, MCAD students have the opportunity to compete for Merit Scholarships amounting in up to $4,000.

Dozens of scholarships are awarded to undergraduate and MFA students in the areas of design, fine arts, foundation studies, liberal arts, and media arts.

Meet some of the winners who have received scholarships toward their 2016/17 academic year.

Erin Bator

Senior, Comic Art
Dominic Postiglone Memorial Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the work: The comics I submitted were either pages for homework or for my web comic, but all of them are scenes taken from some of the many stories I'm currently developing.




Breanna Bisek

Junior, Photography
Photography Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the work: I submitted black and white photographs, sculptures made from acrylic and wood, as well as a relief print. The work reflects my interests in process and formal characteristics of time, light, and space.




Samuel H. Busko

Junior, Furniture Design
Dean Wilson Art of Making Senior Merit Scholarship: $4,000

On receiving the scholarship: It means a lot to be rewarded for many long hours here. It helps me focus on what I am doing and know that others want me to push myself and succeed.




Zoja Chmielarczyk

Junior, Fine Arts Studio
Fine Arts Studio Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the work: The majority of my work is an exploration of my identity as a non-binary trans person; I mean to examine the interaction between trans identity and mental health. I like to construct seemingly or semi-functional objects and spaces as tools with which I can confront gender dysphoria, depression, and anxiety, as well as the ways they affect each other.




Joshua M. Copeland

Junior, Graphic Design
Graphic Design Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the work: I submitted a diverse selection of works for merits—photography, original prints, books, and posters.




Emily Erickson

Senior, Advertising
Senior Advertising Merit Scholarship: $4,000

On the work: I am very lucky to be in a program that offers a level of real-world interaction with real clients. Some of the client projects I submitted for merits include: Larabar, K'UL Chocolate, International Health Services, Comprehensive Financial Solutions, and Arta Tequila.


Molly Garner-Puff

Senior, Furniture Design
Dean Wilson Art of Making Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the work: My merits show focused on transforming trash and found objects into valuable materials and furnishings. I included a tabletop and a lamp made from resin and locally found objects, as well as garbage generated in my studio practice. I also submitted sample materials and models for my senior project. In addition, I displayed a chair and a cabinet made from bicycle tires.




Jenna Graham

Senior, Drawing and Painting
Class of 1978 Senior Merit Scholarship: $4,000

On the work: In my landscape paintings, I am interested in a spiritual experience that transcends the momentary event and place. The work has evolved in the past year from being about mark and specifying a general place to now understanding a visual feeling within an event, within a place. The work grew out of recognizing the landscape as a prompt, and what grew out of that may have been a new place or perhaps a place more imagined.




Carly Haack

Junior, Drawing and Painting
Patricia B. Saunders Merit Scholarship: $3,841

On the work: I submitted two paintings of my friends in everyday situations, a self-portrait holding a bag of Cheetos, a still life, and a small color study. The three paintings that deal with the figure are most linked to my usual practice.




Jillian Hanesworth

Sophomore, Drawing and Painting
MCAD Foundation Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the work: I submitted what I felt was my strongest work from my foundation classes. It was primarily drawings from Drawing 1 and 2 but also included a few sculptures and other pieces from Foundations 3D and 2D.




 

Jordan Hamann

Senior, Animation
Media Arts Merit Scholarship: $4,000

On the work: I submitted a demo reel showcasing a variety of my best work, as well as a complete film.




Hannah

Junior, Fine Arts Studio
Fine Arts Studio Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On choosing MCAD: The facilities really drew me to MCAD, there are a lot of opportunities for me here.




Rodelliza Hao

Junior, Animation
Virginia M. Binger Animation Merit: $2,000

On the scholarship: For me, winning the Merit Scholarship of course means less financial stress, but it also gives me more motivation to continue to improve in my practice and to strive to do my best in everything I do creatively. It is a strong motivator as it shows that somebody appreciates my work.




Marina Harkness

Senior, Comic Art
Roy B. Justus Comic Art Scholarship: $4,000

On the work: I've only just recently started narrowing my focus for my work, so I submitted a wide swath of things I've done over the last three years. A mix of some technical comic work and autobiographical comics that I want to push more.




Jerod

Junior, Sculpture
Dean Wilson Art of Making Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the work: I submitted both my sculptural and furniture bodies of work, so there would be a range of my abilities present. I only submitted one table, which was a huge accomplishment of mine. I also submitted a series of "soft" sculptures I made along with 3D printed work and two kinetics pieces, which are both new to me as of this semester.




Hannah Jerrie

Sophomore, Illustration
MCAD Foundation Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On choosing MCAD: I was interested in MCAD after a high school upperclassman I looked up to decided to attend, and it really helped to tour the campus and see all the wonderful faculty and facilities firsthand. Even while looking at other schools, MCAD stuck as my first choice in the back of my mind.




Yingxi Ji

Senior, Graphic Design
Graphic Design Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the work: I submitted one manifesto poster which is about the Apple campaign from 1997. It is talking about how crazy ideas and those people change the world. I want to have an overlooking of futurism and technology. I submitted one catalog design called Muji is not a brand. Muji is a Japanese minimalism product brand. I did the research of the brand's creative designer, product designer, and muji culture and put all the interviews together into a catalog. I came out with the idea of center and spread out by using the shape of a rectangle. I was eager to design a horizontal layout so it is quite challenging to me. 19 rules of typography is a book that I want to let people open and read carefully. Because it teaches people about rules of typography. So I want this book to be more interactive and interesting. I used a folded triangle to hide each rule underneath and show some ugly type on the top of the page.




Hyelim Koh

Junior, Graphic Design
R. Thomas and Gaylord Benson Scholarship: $4,000

On the work: I submitted several works, but my favorite is the Independence Manifesto poster. It consists of two different versions: the white version and the black version. For those posters, I tried to convey the idea using only form instead of text. By twisting various circular forms, I try to say something is happening, something is changing. The poster uses two different languages, English and Korean. The manifesto is a Korean independence manifesto and I want both Koreans and Americans (and others who speak their languages) to be able to read and feel that poster.




Megan Kowalski

Sophomore, Entrepreneurial Studies
Entrepreneurial Studies Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On choosing MCAD: I actually didn't consider MCAD until the very last second of nailing down decisions for college. Everything about the school fell into place perfectly, and I had the chance to leave Milwaukee; so I went for it. The entrepreneurial studies program also was its own thing that I haven't heard of other schools having. I've always had a personal love for both environmental sciences and art, so the program was a perfect mixture of the two. It also allows me to stir in whatever direction I want to focus my degree on, which now leans towards advertising.




Madelyn Kozlowski

Junior, Illustration
Illustration Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On choosing MCAD: I had been keeping my eye on some of the work coming out of the school and it was super inspiring to see what students and alumni had accomplished. I knew I wanted to be a part of that, plus Minneapolis has a super great artist community which I could see from the first day I visited.




Lindsey Kusterman

Senior, Web and Multimedia Environments
WMM Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On choosing MCAD: I didn't want to continue toward a major that I wasn't excited about (financial accounting) at my previous school. MCAD offered a bunch of majors that I could see myself pursuing—graphic design, photography, web and multimedia.




Noah Lawrence-Holder

Junior, Animation
Animation Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the scholarship: I’ve applied for merits in the past but this is the first time I’ve received one. Merits are a pretty big deal, and it was really validating to be recognized for all the hard work I’ve put in over the last year or so. MCAD can throw a lot of pretty grueling coursework at you, but seeing it pay off like this really made everything worthwhile! Plus money is great.




Joe Letchford

Second Year, MFA
MFA Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the work: I submitted a body of work presented for the first-year graduate mid-program review. It ranged from publications and printmaking to interactive installations, all of which deal with relinquishing my authorship as a designer and implementing the voice of the viewer.




Xiaohan Ma

Second Year, MFA
MFA Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On choosing MCAD: I see graphic design as a language instead of a media or a commercial tool. I wanted to place myself in the role of a visual artist and a storyteller. MCAD is the place that really allows me to be experimental. The MFA program is a vibrant community that respects and cares about individual needs. By working with peers from all other disciplines and having my own mentor who focuses on my personal practice, I am able to explore my own direction and break the boundary between fine art and design.




Cleo Malone

Senior, Print Paper Book
Dean Wilson Art of Making Senior Merit Scholarship: $4,000

On the work: I showed my most recent series of weaving patterns in webpage form, and three samples of the woven garments those patterns explain how to make. I showed two woven color-studies and two small paintings in those same colors. I also showed a book of four-color lithographs, a book of a collection of drawings from the last year in Sharpie marker, embroideries based on those sharpie drawings, an accordion book of woodblock prints, and a miniature dresser with drawings of clothes in the drawers.




Janet Mason

Junior, Print Paper Book
Dean Wilson Art of Making Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On choosing MCAD: I came to MCAD because when I was looking at different art schools I didn't really know which direction to go in with my art or what field to focus in, and MCAD offers a pretty wide range of classes. Also I really liked the community at the school here more than others I visited. The staff and students seemed more helpful and open. The facilities here are great too, I loved the idea of having access to studios almost anytime because it would allow me to work when is it best for me.




Krista McCullough

Senior, Web and Multimedia Environments
Media Arts Merit Scholarship: $4,000

On the scholarship: I've been really down on myself and worried that my work wasn't where it should be, that it's not up to par with what my peers are producing. Receiving the Senior Merit Scholarship is an incredible confidence booster. I'm going into my senior year with reassurance from my professors that my work is worthwhile, and it's invigorating!




Nathan Motzko

Senior, Illustration
Senior Illustration Merit Scholarship: $4,000

On choosing MCAD: MCAD is my dream school. When I graduated high school I knew I wanted to study design and art making, but I couldn't convince anyone to take me seriously. For a year and a half I stopped making anything and I went to community college to figure out if I should try something else. It was a weird time for me because art was the only thing I could think about but I wasn't doing it because I was telling myself not to. Long story short, I gained the confidence to start drawing again and, more importantly, I felt connected with myself. It became a need to make and have a community of friends that cared about art, so I nervously applied and they happily accepted me. I realized art making is something I take very seriously and it makes me happy.




Samantha Mulvihill

Senior, Advertising
Advertising Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On choosing MCAD: I came to MCAD as a transfer student with the intention of working at an advertising agency once I graduated. MCAD provides an education with real-world applications that allows me to strengthen my portfolio while taking classes.




Erin Ashley Quinn

Junior, Comic Art
Roy B. Justus Comic Art Scholarship

On the scholarship: Winning the Merit Scholarship means I have not stagnated in my journey of bettering myself as an artist. It also means I can focus on my classes instead of worrying about financial aid.




Dan Ploof

Junior, Advertising
Advertising Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the work: In the prints I submitted, I'm not only trying to represent war itself but also separate scenarios that may or may not have happened. Hopefully viewers will find themselves questioning the truth of these images, much as you should question the truth of anything you see in the world. The prints are collages made from historic archival photos found on the Flickr commons site.




Remy Ripple

Senior, Web and Multimedia Environments
WMM Merit Scholarship

On the work: I've only just recently started narrowing my focus for my work, so I submitted a wide swath of things I've done over the last three years. A mix of some technical comic work and autobiographical comics that I want to push more.




Sebastian Schnabel

Junior, Filmmaking
Filmmaking Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On choosing MCAD: I wanted to study film at an art school to have the more artistic approach to it rather than just technical, as it is in most film schools. I also liked the fact that I would be around so many other art majors and take courses in other fields. I feel as a filmmaker it is important to know most art forms, because film is a combination of all of them. That's one of the things I love about film.




Anna Schultz

Senior, Photography
Photography Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the work: I submitted work from two series of photographs for merits, both of them focusing on representation of queer identities. The first, Visi(bi)lity, and a zine by the same title, aims to promote bisexual visibility. The second is a series of images of femme-identified people with a similar goal of visibility.




Aaron Snow

Sophomore, Comic Art
MCAD Foundation Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the work: The pieces I submitted were mostly pretty straightforward life drawings from Drawing 1 and 2, but I also included a few pieces that show my ability to conceive and express original concepts.




Madi Sparrow

Junior, Comic Art
Will Eisner Sequential Art Scholarship: $2,000

On the scholarship: This scholarship makes my education more affordable, which in turn takes a little bit of stress off my shoulders. It also gives me a nice confidence boost and makes me feel like I'm on the right track.




Thad Stalmack II

Junior, Comic Art
Roy B. Justus Comic Art Scholarship

On the scholarship: I go to class every day with students that inspire, motivate, and challenge me. I am honored to have received this award, and I plan to improve on a daily basis. Just like all my friends here at MCAD.




Tenley Steinke

Senior, Entrepreneurial Studies
Entrepreneurial Studies Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the scholarship: I received money which is a huge aid to my financial costs of an MCAD education. It is also a great award to be acknowledged on my resume.




Madison Stevens

Sophomore, Print Paper Book
MCAD Foundation Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the scholarship: It means a more comfortable living situation in general and more opportunities to create more work . . . Also, more art supplies.




Madeline Strand

Senior, Furniture Design
Dean Wilson Art of Making Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On choosing MCAD: I decided to come to MCAD because I was originally going to pursue a degree in animation (MCAD being one of the top schools in the Midwest for such a major). By my sophomore year, having taken 3D Foundations and Furniture Design: Material and Technique, my interest completely changed!




Aimee Strzok

Senior, Fine Arts Studio
Class of 1978 Senior Merit Scholarship: $4,000

On the work: The paintings are about movement and energy, things that exist within, outside, and between us. I aimed to create a visual language for something we can observe through feeling, but cannot see.




LaToya Varpness

Senior, Print Paper Book
Dean Wilson Art of Making Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the work: The work I submitted for merits centered around the female form in varying states. The use of different printmaking processes let me explore different ways to represent the female form and play with the way the imagery interacted with the processes themselves.




Sarah Verrastro

Senior, Drawing and Painting
Patricia Kennedy Crump Merit Scholarship: $1,911

On the work: Each painting in the If You Want To series was displayed with a veil made of duralar, on top of the duralar thin ephemeral graphite drawings outlined the main focus of line on the paintings underneath. In the didactic the viewer was invited to lift the veil. The small size of the paintings and delicate detail encouraged an intimate viewing experience. All the paintings were created with memory of places as the only reference. The formatting of the small paintings were meant to expand on thoughts about memory and its function.




Edith Voges

Sophomore, Comic Art
MCAD Foundation Merit Scholarship: $2,000 and Liberal Arts Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the work: My foundations year has mainly involved development and experimentation. I've been able to learn about a lot of different media and started to focus on color, shape, and pattern as a means to create a specific impression. I'm excited to continue exploring these ideas for the rest of my time here.




Forrest Wasko

Senior, Photography
Media Arts Merit Scholarship: $4,000

On the work: I submitted photo-sculpture pieces that I worked on in the New York Studio Residency Program. They are unlike anything I've done before in photography and I've had a lot of support and advice from the program and MCAD about this new genre of work and where to go next.




Scott Werner

Senior, Entrepreneurial Studies
Senior Entrepreneurial Studies Merit Scholarship: $4,000

On choosing MCAD: MCAD was always my first choice art school; it's close to home and there are a variety of classes along with the quality of the instructors.




Rubin (Jay) Wu

Senior, Illustration
Illustration Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On choosing MCAD: I was not quite sure what I wanted to learn before I decided to come to MCAD, but I saw students' awesome works on MCAD's website and I wished I could do as good as them. I think that's what drew me here.




Alexander Yang

Senior, Animation
Virginia M. Binger Animation Merit Scholarship: $2,000

On the scholarship: Winning this Merit Scholarship will help me focus on completing my senior project and not worry about finances. After winning this scholarship, it has given me a sense of accomplishment that hard work and patience are worth the effort in my career as an artist.