Consistently winning individual and portfolio awards at the annual Graphex competition is no coincidence for members of the Visual Communications family. It’s by design. Students, alumni and staff associated with OSUIT continued their long tradition of success at this year’s Graphex 44, claiming 18 professional and three of 11 student awards.
Graphex is a competition sponsored by the Art Directors Club of Tulsa celebrating the very best of visual communication in Oklahoma and surrounding states. Awards are given to creative professionals from various disciplines including graphic design, photography, painting, writing, web development, programming, art direction and technology.
“Graphex is a regional design competition that gets significant attention because of the caliber of the judges brought in from the major national media markets and the quality of the entries,” explained James McCullough, Visual Communications Division chair. “Competing in Graphex is a great opportunity for our students, especially those wanting to work in the Tulsa area. Several studios actively recruit portfolio winners each year from the competition.”
Student entries each year are received from many four-year university design programs throughout Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Arkansas. Student categories included portfolio, advertising, print, digital, identity, illustration, packaging and photography.
McCullough stated the VISCOM staff couldn’t be happier for their two student winners at this year’s competition. Fall graduate Grant Sweetwood received the second place student portfolio award and the best photography award. Fellow graduate Matthew Taylor received the third place portfolio award.
“Grant and Matt’s success is because of their dedication, unique style and how they approach the subject material,” he said. “Their pieces are very polished, like ones you would expect from successful production studios.”
OSUIT alumni John Hammer received this year’s Raffe award honoring a body of personal work produced by an artist in any medium. Hammer is a successful graphic designer who has recently returned to his childhood passion of drawing and painting. His “Pop Impressionism” pieces explore a variety of subject material, including Oklahoma icons, in vibrant colors and detail. Several of his large paintings are currently on display in the OSUIT Student Union building.
Kim Woodard, graphic designer in the OSUIT Office of Marketing and Communications, also received an in-house design category award for her marketing request workflow chart.
“Many talented artists enter Graphex each year, literally the cream of the crop in the Tulsa area,” said Woodard. “Receiving an award in such a strong competition means a lot to me.”