Watkins Aces Design Awards

The college's graphic design and illustration program sees a record-setting year.

Dew Nguyen, Watkins College, ADDYs Gold

The graphic design and illustration programs at Watkins are racking up the awards in 2019. On February 26, students were recognized for their outstanding work at Nashville’s Student ADDY Awards.

Mayor David Briley kicked off the evening at Play on Church Street by proclaiming the week as “Advertising Week” in Nashville. As the evening progressed, Watkins’s success was evident. Students won more awards than any other school in categories such as advertising, book design, illustration, package design, photography, web design, and more.

Taylor Karnes, Watkins College, ADDYs Gold winner

Natalie Briscoe was the evening’s top winner and received a $500 Rising Star Award. Other winners included: Carolina De Alba, Drew Desirey, Katherine Hansen, Taylor Karnes, Daniel Long, Drew Nguyen, Ali Stephens, Sarah Parker, and Tara Walton.

All told, Watkins earned 12 golds, 10 silvers, 2 Judge’s Choice awards, and one Rising Star ($500) award.

Natalie Briscoe, Watkins College

The winners then went on to compete in the district awards where they also made an impressive showing. Competing with 17 schools from five states, Watkins won four gold awards (three more than 2018) and three silvers. The gold awards included: poster design (Danielle Long), illustration (Tara Walton and Drew Nguyen), and brand design/illustration series (Taylor Karnes). Silver awards for package design and poster design went to Natalie Briscoe, and Ali Stephens won for her photography series.

Ali Stephens, Watkins College, Silver winner - ADDYs

That wasn’t all, however. In another contest — the 2019 Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Competition — alumna Taylor Karnes and current student Sean Tyler Walton were juried into a competitive exhibition that opens on May 10 at the Museum of American Illustration in New York. A highly competitive process, the Society of Illustrators contest judged 8,700 entries from 72 schools, with 2,114 students competing. This is the fourth year a Watkins artist has been juried into the Society’s show and the first for a current student. Competing with 70 entries, Walton won the third place Rockstar Award for Excellence in Animation and a $750 cash prize. You can see more of Walton’s work in our Galleries section.

For more information about graphic design or illustration, please visit our Academics pages.