Nyquon Watson ’18 won the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO) Grand Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts for his project, Losing, which explores emotional evolution through photography, typography, and anaglyph 3D.
After advancing to the competition’s final round earlier this spring, Watson’s multimedia inquiry into the representation of race, identity, and progress landed him the top prize. A panel of AICUO judges reviewed the work of six finalists, all of whom are seniors nominated by their respective institutions, before announcing the Grand Award April 5 at the Columbus College of Art and Design.
“I have spent the majority of my artistic exploration on a chameleon-like endeavor to discover as many different mediums as possible,” Watson explains in his artist statement. “I have utilized this experience to create artworks that speak to the specific instances and moments in my life. Whether they are digitally photographed portraits or three-dimensional structures, my art exists as a tangible representation of the multiplicity of dimensions that comprise an individual.”
AICUO began its annual event in 2008 as the nation’s first online intercollegiate arts competition. Each contestant is judged anonymously by the AICUO and without knowledge of educational affiliation, allowing panelists to assess the art as individual works. In the spirit of supporting student artists, each of the finalists maintain a permanent portfolio on AICUO’s website.
“I'm thrilled that Watson's talent has been recognized by the AICUO Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts,” says Professor of Art, Installation, Sculpture and Book Arts Nanette Yannuzzi-Macias. “Working with Nyquon has always been a pleasure. This is significant to him both in the form of outside validation and the graduate programs that will be very interested in students who've successfully competed outside of their academic institutions.”