WEST LIBERTY, W.VA, January 30, 2024 – Senior WLU illustration major Eliza Aguirre took home three separate awards at the 2023 Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators (PSI) Student Scholarship Competition that was held last December.
Aguirre, from Weirton, West Virginia was awarded first place for “Moxie’s Day Out” in addition to two honorable mentions for her pieces “Rainy Day” and “Grim Tales Book Cover.”
“I have WLU to thank for my improvement in illustration, which has prepared me for this competition. Especially Professor Fencl, who advised me to participate in the competition and gave me the confidence to submit my work,” said Aguirre. “I wasn’t betting on an award, much less three!”
The competition was open to all schools in Pittsburgh, western Pennsylvania, and northern West Virginia. Over 90 entries were submitted and PSI awarded 13 scholarships totaling over $5,000. The goal of these merit scholarships is to encourage Pittsburgh-area art and design students who demonstrate dedication and potential to become professional illustrators.
“We are grateful to the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators for creating this opportunity for students. The opportunity to compete and have their work reviewed by professionals in the field validates what students are learning,” said Brian Fencl, Professor of Art and Interim Chair Department of Media and Visual Arts. “She is naturally talented and sincere about the images she is making. That is a great combination for growth and being able to share a personal vision.”
After graduation, Aguirre aspires to continue creating art. “I plan to dive deeper into my passions and do more of what I love. Whether it’s working in a team or doing things solo, I want to continue working in illustration and creating more,” she said. “Creating work that I can be proud of is what keeps me fulfilled, and I am always looking to improve and progress further.”
The PSI is the second largest society of illustrators in the United States, which aims to cultivate and strengthen the profile of the illustration art form by fostering a closer social and professional connection among illustrators in the Pittsburgh area.
The Visual Communication program is one of the many majors offered in the College of Liberal and Creative Arts. For any questions about the program, please email email@example.com.
West Liberty University is West Virginia’s oldest public university, and it offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and 12 graduate programs, both online and on campus. Learn more at westliberty.edu.