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Cornish College of The Arts Design Students Represent Seattle In New York Exhibition

August 13, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - Cornish College of the Arts design students are turning heads in a new exhibition at New York’s School of Visual Arts’ Westside Gallery which opens on September 2.  Russia Rising: Votes for Freedom, an exhibition responding to recent political turmoil in Russia, includes over two dozen contributors, including internationally known designers Yossi Lemel and R.O. Blechman.  Among them, designs from four Cornish students, Emily Firebaugh (DE ‘12), Allison Hefely (DE ‘13), Alexandria Lopresti (DE ‘12), and Derek Vander Griend (DE ‘12) were selected for the exhibition.  Using the language of the poster, Russia Rising contributors created original posters in support of the popular Russian movement for democracy that emerged from the most recent third-term election of President Vladimir Putin. 

“We are so proud of these talented students,” said Cornish President Nancy J. Uscher. “This is a testament to the Cornish Design faculty and all of our students. This project embodies our mission to create the next generation of artists, innovators and citizens.”

Under the guidance of Cornish Design for Social Change instructor Natalia Ilyin, the strength of Cornish’s student contributions come as a very welcome surprise to Abbeville Press Art Director and co-curator of Russia Rising, Misha Beletsky. When interviewed by his fellow curator, Steven Heller for his blog, Imprint, Beletsky said, “My biggest surprise was the strong body of work contributed by Natalia Ilyin’s students from Cornish College of the Arts, a small school that is not on everyone’s radar. Their posters could hold their own next to the pieces created by well-known and well-established contributors.”

Russia Rising: Votes for Freedom will be on view at SVA’s Westside Gallery in New York City, September 4 through 22.

More information about Russia Rising can be found at the Westside Gallery website,