Department of Art and Art History Award or Honor

Stephennie Mulder talks about her work in Syria, recent trip to Iran to receive book award

Wed. April 6, 2016

man and woman stand holding framed award
Associate Professor Stephennie Mulder received the World Prize for Book of the Year from the Iranian Ministry of Culture.

Read an interview with Stephennie Mulder.

Teresa Hubbard/Alexander Birchler named as 2016 Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellows

Wed. April 6, 2016

white logo on green square

Teresa Hubbard/Alexander Birchler named as 2016 Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellows. Read more about the fellowship and the recipients.

Gracelee Lawrence, M.F.A. candidate in Studio Art, selected as Luce Scholar

Fri. March 4, 2016

woman in blue buttoned shirt stands in front of art

Grace Lee Lawrence has been selected as a 2016–2017 Henry Luce Scholar. Applicants went through a three-month-long selection process and 18 scholars were selected from 162 applicants.

Zach Ingram a semifinalist in the Print Center's Annual International Competition

Tue. February 23, 2016

white cube logo on green square

Zach Ingram (M.F.A. candidate in Studio Art) was a semifinalist in the Print Center's Annual International Competition.

Design undergraduate travels to California as Disney Imagineering finalist, garners second place

Mon. February 22, 2016

four people pose with arms spread with mickey mouse
Image courtesy.

Design junior Whitney Chen spent a fairy-tale week in Glendale, California at the Walt Disney Imagineering headquarters in January.

“I knew that this was an amazing opportunity to test myself as a visual maker and create wilder projects outside of class,” said Whitney Chen, “And because I am a Disney fanatic, I was so excited to design something that was Disney related.”

The team from The University of Texas at Austin included Design junior Whitney Chen, Cockrell School of Engineering senior Kevin Graham, Kevin Chen (B.S Mechanical Engineering, 2015), and Amy Woon (B.S. Mechanical Engineering, 2015). They received second place at the 25th Imaginations Design Competition, put on annually by Walt Disney Imagineering, and competed against six teams from eight other universities.

“Everything I did was a part of a collaborative effort, but because I study graphic design and user-centered design, I focused on the visual elements of Hueroic,” said Whitney Chen.

This year’s challenge was to design a traveling experience that could tour small towns across the U.S. for families who do not have the opportunity to travel to a Disney park. This temporary venue would operate in each community for two to three days, should take no more than a day to set up and break down, and embodies the kind of family entertainment that Walt Disney envisioned when he first build Disneyland.

four people in suits pose in design studio
Image courtesy.

The team’s concept, Hueroic, takes guests on a journey to explore the wonder and beauty of art and imagination. Thrust into a black and white world where colors have never existed, guests are sent on a race against time to rescue a kingdom and unlock the major of color, light and inspiration.

“Mixing my ideation sketching skills and love for drawing, I designed the attraction's environments, considering the interactions between guests and the spaces around them,” said Whitney Chen. “I also helped my team create an identity for Hueroic, making a physical mock-up of our attraction, graphic posters, products, and logo.”

Throughout the competition, each team was advised by a group of mentors.

“Because our mentors were once finalists themselves, they were able to step into our shoes and relate to our design thinking,” said Whitney Chen. “Even though each team member and our mentors offered different specialties, our decisions were always influenced by the heart and purpose of Hueroic. I appreciated how our mentors would challenge us with ‘What if…’ questions, which led us to revise, expand, and make multiple iterations together as a team.”

Finalists present their projects to a panel of Imagineering judges which can open opportunities for internships at Disney Imagineering for students. Some eventually become full-time Imagineers.

“I was so entranced by the signage and graphic artwork at Disneyland that I will be going back because my first visit was not enough,” Whitney Chen said. “I want to ride all of the rides and try all of the food! This experience magnified my goals. As I move through my undergraduate studies, I will continue to dream bigger—theme park sized.”

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