UToledo Art Student’s Work Receives National Recognition

April 20, 2020 | Arts, News, UToday, Arts and Letters
By Angela Riddel

Alaina Coote, a sophomore studying graphic and interactive design at The University of Toledo Department of Art, has received national and local exposure for her work. Three of her color pencil drawings were chosen by a hospital for display, and one, which also appeared locally on digital billboards, has been selected to be published in a national calendar.

“Alaina is putting her work out there, just as we discussed in class,” Barry Whittaker, UToledo associate professor of graphic and interactive design, said. “I’m glad she is getting recognition for all her hard work.”

“Summer Daze,” color pencil drawing, by Alaina Coote

Coote’s “Summer Daze” appeared in the Art Department’s annual Toledo area digital billboard exhibition. The exhibit featured 21 pieces that were displayed on area digital billboards in January and February.

In addition, the drawing was chosen to be in the 2020 CURE calendar, a piece created by CURE magazine, a national cancer information publication serving nearly 1 million readers among cancer patients, cancer centers and advocacy groups.

The CURE webpage announcing the calendar winners stated, “Selected by a panel of judges, the artwork of the 12 winners exemplifies the beauty and creativity that can arise from the challenges of the cancer experience. Created using a variety of media, the pieces served as a therapeutic outlet for the artists and will inspire all those who view them.”

“Summer Daze” is from a collection of Coote’s drawings that feature women. The collection was inspired by her personal life; she witnessed the experiences of her mother and grandmother who both battled cancer.

“I saw how cancer had the ability to shape and change a woman’s self-esteem and femininity. Cancer shaped their ideas about themselves and gave me a mature perspective about the psychological impact of the disease,” Coote said.

“This work is to serve as an encouragement to the women as they are battling cancer, portraying the power, beauty, femininity and strength that each woman has within themselves.”

“Summer Daze” also is among three of Coote’s drawings that soon will hang in the Women’s Specialty Center of Wooster Community Hospital in Wooster, Ohio.

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