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Winners Announced for Holiday Cards

Winners Announced for Holiday Cards

: Cornish holiday card, designed by Julia Rorem (AR '17).

Happy Holidays From Cornish College of the Arts from Cornish College of the Arts on Vimeo.

: Video holiday card, designed by Katherine Jacomena McGuire and Katie Wheeler (both AR '16).

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Earth stops its tilt, begins rocking back toward spring — that can only mean one thing: solstice … and holiday cards from Cornish by student designers.

Here in the northern half of the globe, it’s midwinter— time for many to celebrate warmth, hope, light, friends and family. As the sun dips toward its southernmost point in the Seattle sky, artists at Cornish share greetings of goodwill and happiness through our new holiday cards.

Early in the semester, students entered their design ideas in competition for the first annual holiday card commission; a card that the Cornish community would send to colleagues and peers. The review panel received all kinds of holiday-spirited imagery, a mix of life portraits, ballet dancers, stags, ferns, poinsettias, and scarves; but first-year Art student Julia Rorem and Sophomore Design students Katie McGuire and Katie Wheeler won the commissions with the universally enjoyed themes of illuminating lights and the coziness of home.

Julia Rorem’s painting of light strings on a tree in the snow will be Cornish’s printed card this year (image above). Chosen for its beauty in the portrayal of light in the darkest time of the year, a central theme in winter holidays of many religions and cultures, the image does radiate a sense of calm and twinkling brightness. “My inspiration for the holiday card was just trying to display a sense of stillness and a quiet setting” says Rorem. “I tried to make the snow look slightly colorful as if there were […] lights all around, making the viewer seem at home and at ease. I wanted to purpose the painting around a sense of peace, and the warmth and snugness of [this] time,” she says.

At Cornish, Rorem pursues her interest in visual art focused on humans and human interaction. “My favored medium is painting, but I also enjoy drawing, photography, and really all art relating to people”. She calls Albuquerque, New Mexico home, where she’ll be returning to celebrate Christmas. About her holiday plans, she says she’s looking forward to spending time with her family, visiting her old church, and hanging out with her best friends, and is excited to return to Seattle in the spring. “I’m really adoring Cornish so far, and I feel very privileged to get to attend such a wonderful school! I am so excited to see what next semester has in store!”

In the video card (in the slide show above), colorful cookies magically mix themselves, spring out onto the pan, and dance across the frosting table all on their own. Families all over the world include sweets in their holiday traditions, inspiring Katie (Katherine Jacomena) McGuire and Katie Wheeler with their own nostalgic memories of making cookies as children. Their stop-motion video will reach hundreds of Cornish connections. McGuire remembers “the whole family around the table, frosting and sprinkles everywhere, the smell of sugar cookies mingling with the smell of fresh pine.[..] It was magical, and I wanted to try and share that with this card.” Katie Wheeler also feels nostalgic about the video. “I really love stop motion animation,” she said, reminiscing about her favorite animated classics like The Little Drummer Boy and Frosty the Snowman. “I also loved the idea of little cookies mischievously decorating themselves.”

McGuire and Wheeler both study illustration in the Design department. While Wheeler focuses on cartooning, comics and, impressively, graphic novels, McGuire now uses media she never knew she could. “The great thing about Cornish is they make you do all kinds of things!” says McGuire. “I never thought I’d know anything about typography or movie making (I got into the school for fine art) but all that has changed radically and I’m loving it.”

McGuire and Wheeler, like many students, have been wrapped up in a whirlwind of projects and practices right up to the last day of the semester. For Wheeler, it’s a new direction. “I have a degree in children’s theater from Central Washington University”, she says. “After spending a year or two out of school, I realized that all I wanted to do was make art and I needed to go back to school to get the education I needed for that.” McGuire says she constantly feels challenged in a way that’s fun and exciting. “There’s no shortage of work, so there’s no time for homesickness.” She is going to enjoy a much-deserved break, though. “I’m from Santa Cruz California, but I’ve been visiting family up here since before I was born. I’ll be spending the holidays with my family back in Santa Cruz, I miss them so much—I can’t wait to see them all again!” Wheeler will be right here at home, “celebrating the holidays in Capitol Hill with my corgi and a big glass of cider.”

As she thinks about the holidays, McGuire shows her appreciation for the College: “I really love being at Cornish…my teachers and the staff have been so amazing and insightful, I’m so thankful for all they’ve taught me.”

As Cornish’s cards say, here’s “Wishing you a holiday season full of creativity and joy!”



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