Design Student, Faculty Honored

Leisa Rich's dress won the SDA award of Excellence in the Fabricate Fashion Show. (Courtesy of Leisa Rich)Five alumni and two faculty members from the College of Visual Arts and Design were recognized for their work by the Surface Design Association, an international textile, fiber art and design group, at its June conference in San Antonio.

Liyun "Alice" Chang ('13) won the biggest student prize — the 2013 Outstanding Student Award, which is based on artistic and technical merit, quality of design and professional presentation.

Others who received awards include Julie Shipman ('13), first place in the student show for her work "Dissection," in which she divided an old door into three parts and replaced sections with stacked fabric from recycled projects. Anny Chang, associate professor of design, took second place in the Fabricate Fashion Show, for her dress that uses cylindrical prisms — inspired by paper towel rolls — in conjunction with draping. And Janie Stidham, associate professor of design, won third place in the Fabricate Fashion Show, for her jacket "Snow Day," which is made of white linen and hand-embroidered with black cotton embroidery floss and black glass seed beads. Naomi Adams ('12 M.F.A.) was presented the Beyond the Boundaries Award in the Members Show for artistic innovation in fiber media. Chesley Williams ('13 M.F.A.), an artist and expert in fiber arts, also presented a talk about upcycling, in which items — for example, construction fencing, buttons and washers — are reused for different purposes such as fashion.

Leisa Rich ('07 M.F.A.) won the SDA Award of Excellence in the Fabricate Fashion Show for her white dress that symbolizes her mother's struggle with dementia.

"It is virginal white for the innocence that is the disease as it progresses, rendering the person incapable of functioning independently, like a child again," Rich says. "The birds are her thoughts fleeting. They have temporarily roosted, just as she does have moments of clarity. It is titled 'Birds of a Feather' because she is not the only one."