Study abroad experience inspires VPA student to grand prize win in international student design competition
Study abroad experience inspires VPA student to grand prize win in international student design competitionApril 29, 2008Daeya Malboeufdmking04@syr.edu
Zoe Nemetz, a junior surface pattern design major in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), has received the grand prize for her design work in the SURTEX International Student Design Competition. More than 100 students from 22 countries submitted entries related to the 2008 theme, “Movement.” Submissions were accepted in four categories: apparel/personal accessories, commercial interior, home elements and stationery/paper products/craft.
Nemetz, who is spending the Spring 2008 semester studying abroad in Italy at SU’s Florence Center (SUF), is recipient of the grand prize for her stationery design “Fly Away,” which was inspired by travel and flight. The design was created as part of a project for a VPA design course in the Fall 2007 semester.
Nemetz says she had traveled extensively in the United States, and her semester abroad in Florence influenced her choice of design and category. “I was interested in the idea of travel, and I chose the stationery category because it is a way to connect your travel experiences with your family and friends,” she says.
The grand prize includes a cash award of $1,000, but Nemetz is most excited about the professional opportunities it offers. She will be flown to New York City and provided with accommodations for the duration of the 2008 SURTEX Conference, May 18-20, plus a one-week internship in the design industry. This summer, Nemetz has an internship in the textile department of Martha Stewart, and she’s looking forward to the juxtaposition with her experience abroad in Florence.
“My time here has provided me an awareness of artisanal methods that no longer exist in the United States, and I’ve been exposed to new materials and methods of design,” Nemetz says of her Florence experience. “My design project this semester was inspired by gilding on the altarpieces, which are ubiquitous in Italy.”
Jill Morgenweck, who is also a junior surface pattern design major in VPA studying at SUF this semester, won honorable mention in the same contest. She submitted a design called “Street Rider,” drawing inspiration and information from her younger brother for her target audience. “Joel has devoted most of his life to his passion for skateboarding and is now on his way to becoming a professional skater,” she says.
Morgenweck’s resulting powerful design earned her an honorable mention, despite the fact that she considered her submission risky since it was created for a target audience that was very different from the jury’s industry professionals. “This competition is about having the opportunity to meet professionals in my chosen field and to receive their feedback on my work,” she says.
Since 1986, SURTEX has hosted an annual International Student Design Competition honoring outstanding art and design students for their exceptional surface design work. Students and their work get exposed to thousands of worldwide industry professionals.