HPU Students Win $25,000 in Scholarship Funds at CIL Design Competition

HPU’s Creative Innovation Lab was completed in fall 2018. This space helped students create each design for the competition.


Rachel Tegen, Felicia Enos and Lauren Geiger, High Point University School of Art and Design students, were awarded first place for their design titled, The Jellyfish.

HIGH POINT, N.C., June 10, 2020 – Eight students in High Point University’s School of Art and Design recently won $25,000 in scholarship funds in the university’s virtual Creative Innovation Lab Design Competition. This was the first year of the competition. HPU’s Creative Innovation Lab, located inside the Plato S. Wilson School of Commerce, and newly formed competition were made possible through a gift from an anonymous donor.

The inaugural competition, which was held online due to the national pandemic, challenged students in a collaborative design-art studio course to design an object that was both art and light.

The students recorded presentations about their light fixture designs and submitted them to the panel of judges, who scored the submissions based on a list of criteria. Funds were then divided amongst the finalists based on where they placed in the competition. Sponsors of the event included Phillips Collection and International Society of Furniture Designers.

“The students were able to utilize the CIL space to build functional prototypes of their final designs,” said Professor Brandon Jones, instructor of home furnishings and interior design. “The CIL space is invaluable, offering art and design students the tools needed to produce, full scale functional, prototypes.”

Ashlyne McComb, Jaqcueline Occhipinti and Kristen Pinsky were awarded second place for their design titled, Flaming Ambience. 3) Emily Sarkisian and Virginia Jesselson were awarded honorable mention for their design titled, Kaleidoscope Pop-up.

The judges included Mark Brown, assistant professor of visual arts at HPU; John Conrad, executive director of the International Society of Furniture Designers; Libby Langdon, owner of Libby Interiors, Inc.; Jason Phillips, vice president of Phillips Collection; and Mark Phillips, founder and president of Phillips Collection.

Rachel Tegen, Felicia Enos and Lauren Geiger were awarded first place for their design titled, The Jellyfish, receiving $4,000 each. The design relies on two light sources; the first to cast dramatic shadows above the fixture while the fiber optics allow an endless combination of lighting effects below. The two sources may be used independently.

Ashlyne McComb, Jaqcueline Occhipinti and Kristen Pinsky were awarded second place for their design titled, Flaming Ambience, receiving $3,000 each. The design consists of two separate pieces that offer a wide range of options for displaying the light fixture. Both pieces resemble abstracted flames that are formed with copper wire wrapped in raffia. One piece is meant to sit on a pedestal while the other suspends from the ceiling. The two pieces may complement each other within a room or work as a singular sculpture as one floats above the other.

Emily Sarkisian and Virginia Jesselson were awarded honorable mention for their design titled, Kaleidoscope Pop-up.

Emily Sarkisian and Virginia Jesselson were awarded honorable mention for their design titled, Kaleidoscope Pop-up, receiving $2,000 each. The goal was to create a piece of art inspired by shapes and colors found in kaleidoscopes. The sun functions as the primary source of light, projecting colors and patterns into the room. The design and materials consist of plywood, colored acrylic, heavy-duty fishing wire, metal screws, wood glue and fairy lights.

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