WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Aug. 24, 2022 – It’s not often that a student from rural West Virginia gets West Hollywood’s attention, but that’s exactly what college student Kaija Sydlowski West Liberty University, did this summer.
“I’m so proud of Kaija. She won first place in the poster design competition held for the annual WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, one of the largest LGBTQ events in the United States,” explained her teacher, Moonjung Kang, who teaches at the WLU since 2009.
Sydlowski is a junior this fall and is a graphic design major from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is the daughter of Diana and Michael Sydlowski and is also a student-athlete and member of the Hilltopper Volleyball team.
“We worked on the project last fall (2021), in the ART 388 Advanced Computer Graphics course. The festival itself lasted 40 days and started on May 22, 2022,” Kang said. “The organization voted unanimously for Kaija’s work as poster of the year. Additionally, they liked Kaija’s design so much that they asked him to create additional promotional material; banners, signs, etc. Kaija also received $1,100 in prize money.
The WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival theme for 2022 was “With Freedom, Diversity, Inclusion and Progress for All”. According to the festival’s press release announcing Sydlowski’s victory, the open-call poster competition resulted in submissions from around the world.
“It was a very cool experience to see my works exhibited at this amazing festival! Professor Kang helped me a lot to elevate my skills and I am very happy now to be able to add this to my portfolio. I am also very enthusiastic about it. idea to see what my future holds for me in the graphic design industry!” says Sydlowski.
“I always enjoy working on the competition project with the students, as it allows them to maximize the real-world learning experience in a short time. We have produced many winners in various national and international design competitions. Winning or being selected in the competition is a powerful tool for students to improve their portfolios, which often leads to better career opportunities,” Kang concluded.
Kang’s ART 388 Advanced Computer Graphics is one of the courses WLU graphic design students leverage to often achieve winning results in competitions.
The WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival is well known and includes the participation of celebrities like Cardi B and JoJo Siwa. It is funded by the city’s arts grants program. To view its web page, please click here. https://pride.weho.org