SUU Alumni Accepted into SILA Exhibition

Published: March 29, 2022 | Author: Ashley H Palmer | Read Time: 3 minutes

Future Arch by Andrew Lee and Redwall by Emma CloveIllustration West is an annual competition and exhibition highlighting the year’s best illustration – both from L.A. and from all around the world. Society of Illustrators (SILA) is proud to represent established and emerging artists and demonstrate that this continues to be an exciting era for illustration. Southern Utah University (SUU) had recent graduates, Mary Ellen Draper, Emma Clove, Andrew Lee, and Kalen Fernandez, from the illustration program enter their works and were accepted into the exhibition.

Emma Clove, graduated with a degree in illustration and was the valedictorian of the College of Performing and Visual Arts in May 2021. Clove shares, “The piece I submitted is one I had worked on for a couple of months before I went through Illustration West's website and submitted the piece there. The piece was my own concept for a book cover for the novel Redwall by Brian Jacques. Having professionals acknowledge your work as industry standard is honestly relieving. I've put in a lot of hours working on becoming a better artist so knowing that I've been moving in the right direction is a boost of confidence.”  

SILA was founded in 1953 by a handful of Southern California advertising artists and designers. They sought out to promote the professional status of illustration art as well as foster both philanthropic and educational goals. From this small beginning SILA has grown to a very productive membership whose work is seen locally and nationally by millions each year in all printed media, television, films, the Internet, and gallery exhibitions.

Andrew Lee, a recent graduate from SUU says, “I ended up switching my majors around from Accounting to getting my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art. I originally lived in Provo, Utah before I attended SUU. SUU has a great atmosphere that is unique compared to other campuses. It's that "outdoorsy" feel, which I personally love. That is what inspires most of the art I do. Landscapes tend to be my go to whenever I'm doing art. When it came to the show, the process of submitting the work is actually simple. Luckily, SUU has Hala Swearingen in the Art and Design department. She's always doing her best to get her students into these competitions. I was grateful that the Art and Design department covered the cost of submitting our works to the show. It's always great to have industry professionals appraise your work and deem it worthy of recognition. It's great to have others enjoy it!”

Mary Ellen, Emma, Andrew, and Kalen are truly amazing graduates of the Illustration program at SUU. They continue to astound SUU and the nation as they share 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 comprises 26 academic programs including liberal arts (BA/BS) and professional (BFA, BM, BMEd) degrees in art, design, dance, music, and theatre. It includes graduate programs in the fields of arts administration (MFA, MA), music education (MME), and music technology (MM). More than 60 full-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring over 900 majors in the College. CPVA presents over 100 performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year and is affiliated with the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), 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), National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (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

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