MassArt Illustration

June 13, 2017
by alice.stanne

MassArt Award Recipients

With the close of the spring semester comes portfolio reviews, graduation, and the excitement of seniors moving on into the professional world. Another exciting end of the year milestone is the awarding of MassArt institutional awards. Students from all across the school apply for a variety of awards; there are two travel awards, a senior project award, and a new prize for creativity and innovation. A committee of faculty and staff review the proposals to select the recipients that have the most well thought out project that shows outstanding artist merit. Out of those four awards, two Illustration seniors were selected to receive recognition.

Caitlin Mavilia, a double major in Illustration and Sculpture, was awarded the Donis A. Dondis Travel Award for her project Rediscovering the Trojan Horse. The $5,000 Dondis Travel Award is granted to a Junior or Senior to help defray the cost of travel for the purpose of completing a well-defined project having artistic merit.Caitlin Mavilia will be shedding new light on the history of a 3,000 year old narrative as a part of a current project designed by Handshouse Studio to bring the Trojan Horse back to life. The Handshouse Studio run by MassArt professors Rick and Laura Brown is an educational organization that replicates historic objects as student-driven projects. Their current project to reconstruct the first ever, period-accurate Trojan Horse at full scale will be installed in The International Spy Museum’s new building in Washington D.C. In pursuit to further investigate the thinking behind the Mycenaeans, the makers of the Trojan Horse, Caitlin will be traveling to Greece to develop a series of large scale drawings informed by Mycenaean depictions of horses. Caitlin will also be developing an illustrated book on the story of the Trojan horse that includes informational illustrations of how the horse was built.

Joshua Chace was awarded the brand new Lam Prize for Creativity and Innovation for his interactive comic Full Plate. The $1,500 Lam Prize is granted to sophomore, junior, or senior from any major who shows dedication, creativity, and innovation.
Full Plate is an interactive comic designed for mobile phones and digital media. The use of a touch screen allows the viewer to progress through images in the application much like one would flip a page of a book to proceed. The benefit of this is the infinite scrolling space that exists within the application and the use of the Z-axis. Images can be placed in such ways that a modern comic book would never be able to accomplish. Thus, pages and the page format are not necessary in a comic designed for digital viewing. A hail of bullets fly into wounds and sandstorms bleed into dragons; the imagery of this interactive comic can flow into one another in beautiful transitions. At a touch, the viewer can witness over 100 illustrations that exist in a 3D space and move with the perspective of your eye. A video of Joshua’s interactive comic can be viewed here.
Congratulations to our incredible illustration seniors!

March 27, 2017
by alice.stanne

Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Winners!

The Illustration Department would like to congratulate all of the students who were selected to be included in this year’s Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Competition!

From the Society’s website:
Every year since 1981 the Society has held the Student Scholarship Competition. Over three hundred works are chosen from more than 8,700 entries submitted by professors of college-level students nationwide. 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. Pieces are accepted based on the quality of technique, concept and skill of medium used.

From the Society’s endowment, generous contributions from private and corporate donors, and proceeds from an annual auction of member-donated artworks, scholarship awards are granted to about 25 students whose work is deemed the best of the best.

In the last 30 years, the Society has awarded over $1,500,000 to deserving students in this unique competition, which has opened the door for many of today’s top professionals including Kadir Nelson, James Bennett, Gwenda Kaczor, Dan Dos Santos, James Jean and many more.  
Title: A Sharing Economy
Artist: Victoria Maxfield
Medium: Gif
Instructor: Scott Bakal
Title: Calvin Dickerman Hears Failures Careless Whisper
Artist: Margaret Gillespie
Medium: Gouache
Instructor: Wesley Bedrosian


Title: Nothingness
Artist: Brady Kettle
Medium: Digital
Instructor: Polly Becker


Title: Nature’s Warning
Artist: Skarlett Prittle
Medium: Linoleum Print
Instructor: Linda Bond


Title: Assyrian Gods
Artist: James Spaeth
Medium: Graphite
Instructor: Polly Becker

Here are the MassArt winners from the previous few years competitions!

November 18, 2016
by alice.stanne

Student Awards

As we get near the end of 2016, we’ve been looking at some of the achievements of our illustration students.

We are proud to see our students get the nod this year from so many respected national competitions which have included the Society of Illustrators, 3×3, Creative Quarterly, Communication Arts, World Illustration Awards and the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles.

The Illustration Department is also incredibly proud that one of our students, Krista Perry, graced the cover of the Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Competition this year. This is the second year in a row that one of our students were selected for such a competitive placement!

Other highlights include student Elise Guillen won a $1,500 scholarship from the Society of Illustrators and Dominic Civiello was profiled in Communication Arts and won a Bronze Medal from 3×3.

Below you will find some of the great art that was represented in these competitions. Congratulations to all of the students!


Alexis DeLeon, Society of Illustrators


Caitlin Mavilia, Creative Quarterly


Tosh Spencer, Society of Illustrators


Dominic Civiello, Creative Quarterly


Caitlin Mavilia, 3 x 3


Victoria Maxfield, Society of Illustrators


Dominic Civiello, Creative Quarterly


Caitlin Mavilia, Creative Quarterly


Dominic Civiello, Creative Quarterly


Dominic Civiello, Creative Quarterly

May 2, 2016
by alice.stanne

Morton Godine Travel Fellowship Award

small_Atomic CityIllustration senior Eileen McIntire was awarded the Morton Godine Traveling Fellowship for 2016. This fellowship is awarded to a graduating Junior or Senior to help defray the cost of travel for the purpose of completing a well-defined project having artistic merit. The award is for $5,000.00. Eileen plans to travel to Los Angeles this summer to conduct research for illustrations for a graphic novel she plans to publish.

A description of her project in her own words:

“Since I won the Morton Godine travel grant I’ve been getting a lot of questions. What are you going to do? Where are you going to go? When I tell them I’m traveling to Los Angeles to gather research for a quiet introspective graphic novel about the twilight of ones greatest passion, they say “Huh. Why didn’t you ask to go somewhere more exotic or exciting?” But the truth is, I couldn’t imagine a more exciting venture. The story I will be adapting is called The Precipice of Angels, a short story by deceased member of the Firesign Theater, Phil Austin. My father was a great fan of Austin’s work, and my bedtimes were filled with his bizarre tales and solemn humor. The Precipice of Angels follows the solo climb of an aging “boulevardiste” pursuing his most challenging expedition over the rooftops of Wilshire Boulevard. During his aerial journey down the legendary boulevard now fallen from greatness, he reflects on the twilight of his once grand secret society of horizontal climbers. The story has always been a favorite of mine, and I am honored that the Austin estate has shown such support. The real truth of the matter is that diving into Austin’s vivid imagination and haunting tale is the most exotic place I could possibly go.”

Eileen’s depictions of shadowy architectural spaces were recently featured in an article for Drawing Magazine, written by Illustration Professor John Roman.

Congratulations to Eileen!

small_The Great Eggscapesmall_DILY 15

February 17, 2016
by alice.stanne

Communication Arts Student Award

Congratulations to Illustration senior Dom Civiello whose piece Omaha received a Student Award from Communication Arts! Dom was 1 of 6 students selected to have their work be published in the 2016 Illustration Annual May/June edition, alongside professionals from the advertising, book, editorial, institutional, and animation markets. Dom completed Omaha as part of the Illustration Thesis class all seniors are required to complete for graduation.

Omaha Dom Civiello 72

“This illustration is part of a series for my thesis project. My research investigated Operation Overlord, which was conducted on June 6, 1944. It illustrates events and stories of veteran that jumped from the skies, dropped the payloads, and stormed the beaches of Normandy. Omaha, is a story about, John G. Burkhalter, who landed on Omaha Beach and instantly was swept up into the chaos of battle. Laying in the sand he witnessed incredible horror happening all round him. As he turned to move up the beach, a mortar shell landed nearby sending men tumbling through the air in a mist of sand.”  –Dom Civiello

February 16, 2016
by alice.stanne

Stephen D. Paine Scholarship Recipient

Illustration senior Michelle Garcia has been awarded a Stephen D. Paine Scholarship! Designed to support students who are entering their final year in studio art programs at colleges in the city of Boston, the scholarship extends financial assistance in order to support their commitment to the making of art. Michelle’s work, and that of the other recipients, will on display at the Suffolk University Gallery until February 26th. Congratulations Michelle!

Sob Sister, acrylic on illustration board, 13 x 13in

In Michelle’s words:
“As a first generation American and Latina my ethnic identity is a growing element of my artistic practice. My time in the Illustration program at Mass College of Art and Design has given me a platform and opportunity to explore this identity and think concretely about what kind of missing visual language I want to see in my field and in our society.

Growing up in the Los Angeles metro I was extremely privileged and fortunate to have had access to affordable art programs that supported my curiosity around painting, drawing, culture, and personal history. After earning my Associate degree in studio art from a local community college, I wanted to continue pushing my desire to grow as an artist and educate others on social injustices.

I’ve built my art practice on idea that people do not have to be passive participants in an unjust racial system, but can create a racial reality in which everyone belongs. I strongly believe that racist ideals, laws, social hierarchies, and traditions cannot prosper when people resist them and deconstruct them as empty ideas.”

New Laws Create Voting Restrictions in Texas, acrylic on illustration board, 9 x 13in

The Rate of Black Men Whoe are Shot by Police Over White Men, acrylic on illustration board, 10 x 12in

May 11, 2015
by alice.stanne

2015 Portfolio Reviews and Portfolio Night Event a Smashing Success

Wednesday, May 6th was a jam-packed day for the Illustration seniors!

Their final portfolio review took place from 3-5PM in the Trustee’s Room and Portfolio Night followed in the President’s Gallery from 6-8PM.

An impressive group of twenty art-buying professionals from a variety of markets reviewed the work, giving advice and suggestions to each senior from their particular area of expertise.rev01rev07rev04Overall, the professionals were very impressed by the class of 2015, mentioning several times that the work was quite strong.

Following the review, the evening celebration began. The seniors moved to what quickly became a crowded President’s Gallery, meeting and greeting invited guests, family, MassArt alums, and friends.

open11 open02In addition, Departmental Awards were presented to both seniors and juniors. The recipients included:

Pollinger/Bourke Award – Eleanor Norton
Floyd Covert Award – Zachary Chomyszak
Faculty Shadowbox Award – Krista Perry
Calvin Burnett Award – Jennifer Rea
Tom O’Hara Award – 
Melissa Stocker 

Senior Faculty Awards
Emma Rickert
Jessica Mathis
Kristen Lee
Julia Emiliani

You Take the Cake Award
Kate Pinelli

Junior Faculty Awards
Eileen McIntire
Diego Chaves
Choohyun Chung

Join us in congratulating our graduating class of 2015!class02


All photos by Scott Bakal

April 27, 2015
by alice.stanne

Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Winners

The Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Show is the most prestigious competition for illustration students in the country. Of nearly 7600 entries less than 200 pieces were selected to be part of the exhibition which will take place in NYC at the Society of Illustrators museum and also be printed in the show catalog.

The Illustration Department is pleased to announce that Victoria Maxfield and Domenic Civiello, both Juniors, have the honor of being selected to be included in the show!

DomVic03We asked Victoria and Domenic to talk about their work to get some insight into the art they created for the projects.
Maxfield_Victoria_02Victoria Maxfield

The Swallow and Other Birds was for the final assignment in Editorial Illustration with Scott Bakal. We were required to illustrate any two Aesop’s fables. This piece illustrates the fable “The Swallow and the Other Birds.”

The swallow warns the other birds to eat the hemp seeds that a farmer is sowing. The birds disregard the swallow and the hemp grows. The farmer makes the hemp into rope that is used to make a net; the net is used to capture the birds. The moral of the fable is “Destroy the seed of evil, or it will grow up to your ruin.” I chose this fable to illustrate because I wanted to draw a lot of birds but I also think the moral of this fable is especially relevant right now: Stop burning fossil fuels and eating meat, or earth will become uninhabitable.

I am so excited that the Society picked it to be a part of the student scholarship show and looking forward to the reception and meeting the other winners in May!

Victoria’s image, The Swallow and other Birds, was chosen for the cover of this year’s Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship catalog! This is a great honor. The Illustration department congratulates Victoria!

civiello_domenic_03Domenic Civiello

Botanical South America is an info-graphic illustrated map made to characterize and capture the immense landscape, jungle and botanical life that thrive on the continent of South America.

The map was created in Professor John Roman’s Technical Illustration course. I set out to assemble all the information and organize many different items of interest into a simplified, legible and fun image.

Botanical South America utilizes a variety of media including graphite, ink, watercolor, and digital. After many attempts, I was able to achieve the right solution to organize the different plant life specific to each South American country. To emphasize the plants and add to the character of the image, I incorporated random edges to the lines the outside of the continent, which gave the map an organic and natural shape as plants might have, while also maintaining the actual shape of the continent.


A dirt path weaves in and out of all the countries, between the plants and rivers, replicating a sense of adventure for the viewers as they travel deep in the jungles of South America.

February 24, 2014
by alice.stanne

2014 Society of Illustrators Winners!

Congratulations to our two students, Hannah Perduta and Morris Gaman, whose pieces were selected for the prestigious Society of Illustrators Student Competition!

Hannah Perduta, It Feels, Instructor: Malgorzata Zurakowska

Morris Gaman, Neckbreakers, Instructor: Linda Bourke

Their work, along with other winners from across the country, will be displayed at the Society of Illustrators in Manhattan, New York from May 7 – May 31.