SUU Alumni accepted to SILA exhibition

Published: March 29, 2022 |
Author: Ashley H. Palmer |
Category: Arts

Illustration West is an annual competition and exhibition highlighting the best illustration of the year – both from Los Angeles and around the world. The Society of Illustrators (SILA) is proud to represent established and emerging artists and demonstrate that this era continues to be exciting for illustration. Southern Utah University (SUU) hosted recent graduates Mary Ellen Draper, Emma Clove, Andrew Lee, and Kalen Fernandez from the Illustration Program who presented their work and were accepted into the exhibit.

Emma Clove, graduated with a degree in illustration and was valedictorian of the College of Performing and Visual Arts in May 2021. Clove shares, “The piece I submitted is one I had been working on for a few months before to go through Illustration West’s website and submitted the piece there. The piece was my own concept for a book cover for the novel red wall by Brian Jacques. Having professionals who recognize your work as the industry standard is an honest relief. I’ve spent many hours working to become a better artist, so knowing I’m moving in the right direction is a confidence boost.

SILA was founded in 1953 by a handful of Southern California advertising artists and designers. They sought to promote the professional status of the art of illustration as well as to further philanthropic and educational goals. Since that small beginning, SILA has grown into a highly productive member whose work is seen locally and nationally by millions each year in all print, television, film, internet and gallery exhibitions.

Andrew Lee, a recent SUU graduate, said, “I ended up changing my majors from Accounting to getting my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art. I first lived in Provo, Utah before attending SUU. SUU has a great vibe that is unique from other campuses. It’s that “outdoorsy” feel, which I personally love. This is what inspires most of the art I do. Landscapes tend to be my favorite whenever I make art. When it comes to the show, the job submission process is actually simple. Fortunately, SUU has Hala Swearingen in the Art and Design department. She always does her best to involve her students in these competitions. I was grateful that the Art and Design department covered the cost of submitting our works to the exhibition. It’s always great to have industry professionals review your work and find it worthy of recognition. It’s great to share it with others!”

Mary Ellen, Emma, ​​Andrew, and Kalen are truly amazing graduates of SUU’s illustration program. They continue to amaze SUU and the nation by sharing their artwork. Congratulations to these dedicated illustrators!

About the College of Performing and Visual Arts

The College of Performing and Visual Arts (CPVA) at Southern Utah University includes 26 academic programs, including liberal arts (BA/BS) and professional (BFA, BM, BMEd) degrees in art, design, dance, music, and theater . It includes graduate programs in the fields of arts administration (MFA, MA), music education (MME), and music technology (MM). Over 60 full-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring over 900 College majors. CPVA presents more than 100 performances, lectures, presentations and exhibitions each year and is affiliated with the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Center for Shakespeare Studies. Southern Utah University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association of Schools of Theater (NAST) making SUU the first public university in the state of Utah to be accredited by all four associations. For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, visit

Key words:
Art and design
College of Performing and Visual Arts

Contact information:

Ashley H Palmer, Public Relations and Information Coordinator
[email protected]

Comments are closed.