CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Department of Art students brought home the gold – over and over again – at the local American Advertising Federation (AAF) competition! The ADDY Awards took place Feb. 23 at the Ortiz International Center. The awards recognize and reward creativeness in the art of advertising done throughout the year. The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s graphic design team won so many awards that one student didn’t even have the opportunity to sit down during the award ceremony. In total, student competitors won 26 awards, including three special judge’s awards and a student’s Best of Show.
“The students and the award ceremony were terrific. I never got bored hearing the University’s name being called as a winner,” said Dr. Mark Hartlaub, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Over the past eight years, students in the design program have won more than 120 awards, both regionally and nationally.
“It’s not the first time we’ve swept the awards, but it was still pretty amazing,” said Dr. Amanda Garcia, Graphic Design Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Art and Graphic Design at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Sarah Gamez, senior graphic design major at A&M-Corpus Christi, stole the show by winning ten awards. Gamez won the student’s Best of Show for her apple cider, Ojo Azul, packaging design. She designed a label and carrier for the bottles. She also earned a $500 Rising Star Scholarship, given through the AAF, and funded by the Yvonne Peters Olvey Scholarship.
“It was an exciting night. The theme this year was ‘Downtown Addy,’ a play on the popular British drama, so it was fun to dress up outside the usual student rags,” joked Gamez. “I didn’t expect to win so many awards. It was surprising and a little overwhelming.”
The students weren’t the only success of the night. Garcia, along with Nancy Miller, Assistant Professor of Art and Graphic Design at A&M-Corpus Christi, won Best of Show on the professional level for their Sugar Skull Yo Self campaign. For the campaign, they created a website, t-shirts, posters, and mural. The campaign provided fundraising to benefit their graphic design students.
“I am thankful for the community in the graphic design program. It’s hard to pinpoint just one person who inspires me,” said Gamez. “The staff, Dr. Garcia, Mrs. Miller and all the students have been an inspiration. They help you out and push you to be the best you that you can be.”
The week following ceremony, the students were treated to a winner’s breakfast on campus. The breakfast was attended by Hartlaub and local AAF chapter representatives.
“We’re proud to work with the students and the University. The work keeps getting better every year,” said Lexi Buquet, Executive Director of the local AAF chapter.
The Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design is one of the newer programs at the Island University. The degree combines art and technology, allowing students to address social issues and cultural awareness.