Jacquelyn Moore, "Dark Damask, 2020" (detail)

Outstanding Students 2021

Each spring, instructors nominate students for SDA’s Outstanding Student Award. Awardees demonstrate inventive and innovative use of technique, materials, or concepts. Congratulations to all 34 of our 2021 awardees!

Students to be Featured in Fall Journal
Outstanding Students 2021

Students to be Featured in Fall Journal

This year, SDA’s Education Committee selected three exemplary awardees to feature in the Fall Journal:

Eleanor Anderson
Cynthia Evans
Paulina Bereza

Eleanor Anderson (Cranbrook Academy of Art)
Dream Portal, 2020
Cotton cloth, yarn, polyfil, wooden dowels, paint (15′ x 10′ x 3.5″)
Through my art, I engage in world-making through the process of play and material-errantry. My form of world-making uses craft traditions as a flexible constraint; I collaborate with materials and colors to achieve a coherence and consistency finely attuned to my intuitive judgment. I look for openings in the making process where I can ply confident imperfections and deviations, subverting fixed expectations of the tradition or technique at hand. I often use bright colors and repeating patterns as a way of injecting each project with evidence of the exuberant aliveness I feel when making art. My practice seeks to alleviate daily doldrums and spiritless ways of living – instead, transforming objects and spaces into paratelic experiences. I gift these works to the viewer as an optimistic nudge towards joy, connection and a playful awareness of how the larger world could be.


Cynthia Evans (University of Missouri at Columbia)
Untitled, 2021
overbeaten abaca, copper, seeds, soil, wood (60″x72″x42″)

On the surface, this installation evokes the cyclical nature of life and reverences death. However, the true power in this piece is the tension between the activation in the work through the plant growth and the deactivated nature of the vessels. They are bearing witness to the growth and decay of the body before them, yet vessels themselves have been historic references for the body. The materiality of the cast, handmade paper not only unifies the aesthetics of the work, it also establishes their skeuomorphism. These vessels can never function within their intended use without being destroyed, just as the body before them is only housing the seeds which grow from it rather than being the actual catalyst of growth. The use of historic forms elude to time and place for this exposed body. Yet as your gaze continues to rise, the vessels in the highest positions have become distorted through the addition of body casts to the forms, pushing additional tension between the vessels & the body.


Paulina Bereza (Concordia University)
False Memory II, 2021
Polyester, Wool, Silk, Steel (25”W x 70”H x 10”L)

The works from the series False Memory speak to the concept of recollection in relation to the passage of time. Drawing from urban landscapes, False Memory II combines a diverse range of images that evoke a dialogue between the past, present and future. With its roots in hereditary rural craft practices, the weave was fashioned by hand using the inherent techniques that generations of Eastern European artisans used in order to create flat woven Kilim rugs. A collection of photographs has been superimposed merging different time lines into one new dimension. In direct contrast to the soft and historically charged weave, the machine-made steel support looms large and heavy to its side, obliging us to consider a link between the handmade rural crafts, and the new world of industrialization, automation, and artificial intelligence.

Outstanding Students 2021